Tags: obama | oil | gulf | spill | cleanup

Testy Obama Insists He's Calling Shots on Spill

Thursday, 27 May 2010 02:19 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama defensively and sometimes testily insisted on Thursday that his administration, not oil giant BP, was calling the shots in responding to the worst oil spill in the nation's history.

"I take responsibility. It is my job to make sure this thing is shut down," Obama declared at a news conference in the East Room of the White House. The Gulf of Mexico oil spill dominated the hour-long session.

He called the spill, now in its sixth week, an "unprecedented disaster" and blasted a "scandalously close relationship" between Big Oil and government regulators.

Obama announced new steps to deal with the aftermath of the spill, including continuing a moratorium on drilling permits for six months. He also said he was suspending planned exploration drilling off the coasts of Alaska and Virginia and on 33 wells under way in the Gulf of Mexico.

The president's direct language on being in charge of the spill, which he repeated several times, marked a change in emphasis from earlier administration assertions that, while the government was overseeing the operation, BP had the expertise and equipment to make the decisions on how to stop the flow.

Taking control carried its own political risks for Obama, because any failure to stop the gusher would then belong to the president. But Obama could suffer politically if his administration was seen as falling short of staying on top of the problem or not working hard to find a solution.

"The American people should know that from the moment this disaster began, the federal government has been in charge of the response effort," Obama said. He was reacting to criticism that his administration had been slow to act and had left BP in charge of plugging the leak.

Obama said many critics failed to realize "this has been our highest priority."

"My job right now is just to make sure everybody in the Gulf understands: This is what I wake up to in the morning, and this is what I go to bed at night thinking about. The spill."

As he spoke, oil BP worked furiously to pump mud-like drilling fluid into the blown-out well.

It was an untested procedure to plug the blown-out oil well. It seemed to be working, officials said Thursday, even as new estimates showed the spill has surpassed the Exxon Valdez in Alaska as the worst in U.S. history.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Al-Qaida Magazine Gives Blueprint for Airplane Bombs

Sunday, 28 Dec 2014 21:43 PM

Inspire, the English-language online magazine aimed at Western lone-wolf jihadists, released its latest edition on Chris . . .

Giuliani: De Blasio Should Apologize to NYPD

Sunday, 28 Dec 2014 12:22 PM

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says Mayor Bill de Blasio needs to apologize to the NYPD to mend fences with . . .

Indonesia Resumes Search for Missing AirAsia Jetliner

Sunday, 28 Dec 2014 07:51 AM

Indonesia searched the Java Sea on Monday for an AirAsia plane carrying 162 people that went missing after its pilot fai . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved