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Pres. Obama Takes On Oil Spill In First Oval Office Address

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jun 16, 2010 2:40PM

Last night, President Obama made the first Oval Office address of his presidency, using the speech to discuss the Gulf of Mexico oil spill as well as the ongoing recovery efforts along the coast (read a full transcript here). Calling the spill "the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced," Obama claimed that within two to three weeks, a cap could be in place that would contain as much as 90 percent of the oil gushing into the Gulf. He also discussed the "recklessness" of BP and talked of a compensation fund provided by BP but controlled by a third party. Obama also used the speech as a platform for energy reform, pushing for less dependence on oil. Following the speech, BP issued a statement, saying, "We share the president's goal of shutting off the well as quickly as possible, cleaning up the oil and mitigating the impact on the people and environment of the Gulf Coast. We look forward to meeting with President Obama tomorrow for a constructive discussion about how best to achieve these mutual goals."

The speech came just hours after a government panel of scientists revised the amount of oil gushing into the Gulf up to between 1.5 million and 2.5 million gallons of oil per day. Meanwhile, the battle continues east along the Gulf Coast, in Alabama and Florida, to fight the encroaching oil. But patience is short everywhere, as scenes like that above continue every day, an urgency underlined by Lynn Sweet in her column today in which she concludes, "Obama said the right things for the situation -- but deeds and accomplishments matter, not words. For starters, the underwater gusher is either contained or it is not. And right now it is not."