June 16, 2010 -- In the first Oval Office address of his presidency Wednesday night, Barack Obama accused BP of "recklessness" and promised to hold the company responsible for the oil spill and the subsequent environmental devastation along the Gulf Coast.
On day 57 of the oil disaster, Obama delivered his prime-time speech in a setting that presidents usually reserve for times of crisis, seated behind his desk in the Oval Office.
"Make no mistake," Obama 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."
He has appointed a "czar" to oversee the restoration of the Gulf Coast, promising to leave it in better condition than it was before the spill. He will require BP to fund an independent account to pay out claims related to the spill from individuals and businesses. The president promised wholesale changes to the way the government regulates oil drilling, including a new leader to oversee the reorganization of the troubled Minerals Management Service. And he called on the nation to pursue clean energy solutions that could reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
President Obama delivered his address in a politically volatile environment, with 69 percent of Americans unconvinced that the government has acted aggressively or quickly enough in response to the spill, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll.
So, our question to you today: What did you think of President Obama's speech on oil?