President Barack Obama says despite a massive oil spill in the Gulf, he still believes that responsible off-shore oil drilling is an important part of America’s energy security.
“I continue to believe that domestic oil production is an important part of our overall strategy for energy security, but I’ve always said it must be done responsibly, for the safety of our workers and our environment,” he said from the Rose Garden, “ The local economies and livelihoods of the people of the Gulf Coast, as well as the ecology of the region, are at stake.”
The President said while British Petroleum is legally responsible to cover the cost of response and clean up, the federal government has been working to aid in the clean up since the day of the explosion.
Mr. Obama outlined the bevy of resources the government has deployed so far, including nearly 2000 federal response personnel, 300 response vessels and aircrafts and 217,000 feet of protective boom, with more on the way. The President says he expects reports today from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, along with his assistant for energy and climate change policy and the NOAA administrator to the Gulf Coast, all of whom are in the region. Mr. Obama has tasked Energy Secretary Ken Salazar to report back in 30 days with a fuller analysis of what went wrong and how to prevent future accidents.
“We’re going to make sure that any leases going forward have those safeguards,” the President said.
In the meantime, the government is also sending teams to inspect all existing deep-water rigs and platforms in the Gulf.
-Yunji de Nies and Sunlen Miller