WASHINGTON D.C. – From the comfort of the Oval Office, President Obama shared his thoughts on the BP oil spill!
In the wake of the damage caused by the BP oil spill, President Obama urged Americans to a “national mission” to move away from reliance on oil and develop alternative sources of energy, demanding that Congress move quickly to overcome “a lack of political courage and candor.”
President Obama spoke to a national television audience from the Oval Office on Tuesday night and he promised a long-term plan to make sure that the gulf states suffering from the oil spill are made whole again. He said he was appointing Ray Mabus, the secretary of the Navy and the former governor of Mississippi, to develop a Gulf Coast restoration plan in cooperation with states, local communities, tribes, fisherman, conservationists and gulf residents.
“Today, as we look to the gulf, we see an entire way of life being threatened by a menacing cloud of black crude,” President Obama said. “We cannot consign our children to this future. The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now.”
The President’s speech, which lasted 18 minutes, went away from the norm of crowded facilities in which he has given some of his most powerful speeches. Sitting alone, President Obama spoke of the American ingenuity he said was now needed to help the country rein in its reliance on oil.
President Obama mentioned that he would be willing to look at approaches from both Democrats and Republicans in regards to legislation geared towards the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. Some of those approaches may be raising efficiency standards for buildings as well as cars and trucks.
He also issued a warning: “The one approach I will not accept is inaction. The one answer I will not settle for is the idea that this challenge is too big and too difficult to meet.”
The speech was delivered on the eve of a meeting at the White House between the president and top executives of BP to demand that they agree to establish an independently administered escrow account of billions of dollars to pay claims stemming from the disaster.
“But make no mistake,” he said, “we will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long as it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever’s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.”