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

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

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.
US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Paradei
X
Anush Avetisyan
November 26, 2014 10:57 PM
Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid