News / USA

    Obama Promises Gulf Coast Will 'Return to Normal'

    Multimedia

    Audio

    President Barack Obama says the federal government is committed "for the long haul" to help residents along the Gulf of Mexico deal with the economic and environmental impact of the BP oil spill. The president spoke on his fourth visit to the affected area, ahead of an address to the nation on Tuesday and a meeting with top BP officials on Wednesday.

    Meeting with residents and business owners, and accompanied by state and local officials, the president spent the day visiting oil spill response and coordination centers in Mississippi and Alabama.

    After a briefing by U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who is in charge of the overall government response, the president said he wants people along the Gulf of Mexico to know that the government, as he put it, is in this for the long haul.

    Mr. Obama said he is committed to ensuring that people and businesses in the area are adequately compensated for damages and losses they are experiencing, adding that problems remain with the process of filing claims with BP.

    At a stop in Theodore, Alabama, the president toured a facility repairing booms used in containing oil, and spoke to workers.  He pledged that the government will help Gulf residents deal with the disaster and its effects.

    "I promise you this - things are going to return to normal," he said. "This region that has known a lot of hardship will bounce back just like it has bounce back before.  We are going to do everything we can, 24/7, to make sure that communities get back on their feet."

    With large areas of the Gulf closed to fishing and the industry reeling from the impact of the spill, the president announced what he called a comprehensive coordinated multi-agency initiative to ensure that seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is safe to eat.

    BP is continuing efforts to increase the amount of oil being captured from its damaged underwater well.  Scientists estimate that between 950,000 and 2.5 million barrels of oil have already spilled.

    Referring to last week's upward revision of the amount of oil leaking from the well, with substantially higher numbers than originally estimated by BP,  Admiral Allen said President Obama and government officials want to make sure that BP is applying sufficient resources to deal with the spill.

    "What has happened [is] this thing has evolved and as we have been able to refine the flow rate estimates," he said. "And as you know, we revised them upward last week.  We want to make sure that BP has enough capacity on hand to handle the increased flow rate estimates."

    Allen said BP has a goal of capturing 28,000 barrels of oil from the leaking well by the end of the week.  But knowing what percentage this is of the total amount leaking from the well will not be possible until a tight seal is on the well.   

    In advance of President Obama's meeting this week with BP executives, the government is in discussions with the company on a multi-billion-dollar fund that would pay out on claims filed by individuals and businesses.

    "So far, we have had a constructive conversation and my hope is that by the time the [BP] chairman and I meet on Wednesday that we have made sufficient progress and we can start actually seeing a structure that would be in place," he said.

    The White House says that among the issues the president will discuss with BP officials will be the size of the fund, which would be administered by a third party.

    As for President Obama's Tuesday evening address to the nation, White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said the president will outline steps taken so far to stop the flow of oil, mitigate the impact of oil that has come ashore and efforts to ensure that people affected by the disaster are compensated.  

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora