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Oil Leak at Gulf of Mexico Oil Well

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Guest Jay Goodwin

I honestly don't see this oil spill costing no more than 1 billion dollars in damages AT MOST to BP when all the law suits are settled.


No matter how much damage it does to the coast line, and businesses.


Who should pay if it's 5 billion? 7 billion? TWO billion? BP in all cases, correct??

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The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill

Prepared by the Joint Information Center

UPDATED May 26, 2010 7 PM

In the Past 24 Hours



Admiral Landry Approves BP’s “Top Kill” Technique; Procedure Begins

Federal On-Scene Coordinator Rear Admiral Mary Landry, acting on the validation of government scientists and in consultation with the National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen, has granted approval for BP to begin proceeding with their attempt to cap the well using the technique known as the “top kill.”


This expedited step provides the final authorization necessary to begin the procedure. BP began the procedure in the early afternoon.


Research Vessel Expands its Response Mission

The NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter, currently conducting sampling in the Gulf, will expand its mission to use its sophisticated sonar equipment and other scientific instruments to help define the plume near the Deepwater BP oil spill site and adjacent area. The mission is a collaborative project among NOAA, academia and the private sector.


Previously conducting plankton sampling in the south Gulf important to establish baseline conditions related to the oil spill, Gordon Gunter will begin additional work using its multibeam sonar than can scan subsurface features. Also aboard is a graduated net used for sampling at different depths. The 224-foot Gordon Gunter will conduct observations for fisheries, water, and acoustics sampling in the oil spill area and to the south.


Scientists Collaborate to Assess Unprecedented Usage of Dispersants

Interagency response partners are working with the Coastal Response Research Center, a partnership between NOAA and the University of New Hampshire, to bring leading scientists, practitioners, and representatives from federal and state governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizations together to address key questions arising from the unprecedented use of chemical dispersants in response to the BP oil spill.


Health Impact Surveillance Continues

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is conducting surveillance in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama and Florida to detect any potential health effects related to the oil spill using established national surveillance systems, including the National Poison Data System (NPDS) and BioSense to track respiratory, vascular, and dermal issues.


CDC is also coordinating and clarifying procedures and case definitions for FDA and states to use with surveillance systems in detecting illnesses associated with consumption of oil contaminated products.


NIEHS Provides Support to Oil Spill Response Worker Training Efforts

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Worker Education Training Program Emergency Support Activation Plan is augmenting the instructor resource pool with additional hazardous material trainers from the NIEHS network. NIEHS continues to work with BP’s training contractors to provide continuous improvement to developed curricula to support the protection of workers.


Successful Controlled Burn

Favorable weather conditions allowed responders to conduct a successful controlled burn operation. As part of a coordinated response that combines tactics deployed above water, below water, offshore, and close to coastal areas, controlled burns efficiently remove oil from the open water in an effort to protect shoreline and wildlife.


By the Numbers to Date:


* Personnel were quickly deployed and more than 20,000 are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife.

* Approximately 1,300 vessels are responding on site, including skimmers, tugs, barges, and recovery vessels to assist in containment and cleanup efforts—in addition to dozens of aircraft, remotely operated vehicles, and multiple mobile offshore drilling units.

* More than 1.85 million feet of containment boom and 1.25 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 300,000 feet of containment boom and 1 million feet of sorbent boom are available.

* Approximately 11 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.

* Approximately 840,000 gallons of total dispersant have been deployed—700,000 on the surface and 140,000 subsea. More than 380,000 gallons are available.

* 17 staging areas are in place and ready to protect sensitive shorelines, including: Dauphin Island, Ala., Orange Beach, Ala., Theodore, Ala., Panama City, Fla., Pensacola, Fla., Port St. Joe, Fla., St. Marks, Fla., Amelia, La., Cocodrie, La., Grand Isle, La., Shell Beach, La., Slidell, La., St. Mary, La.; Venice, La., Biloxi, Miss., Pascagoula, Miss., and Pass Christian, Miss.

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Guest Pissed Cajun

We all have been duped. The people of Louisiana have been suffering for way too long. How many of our politicians have been bought out by big oil? Texas has been feeding us horse crap for years. Just look where BP America is located. All those frakers in Houston can go to Hell. You people in Washington are way worse. You should be hog tied and horse whipped for all the bullcrap you put us through.

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Guest Tirpur

It was originally BP's fault, but now it is squarely on this administrations door step.

For this administration to even suggest that it is at BP doorstep? is an insult.


Democrats on the whole kept silent about the spill, this administrations responce has been insluting at best.

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Update on developments in the response to the MC252 oil well incident in the Gulf of Mexico.


Subsea efforts continue to focus on progressing options to stop the flow of oil from the well through interventions via the blow out preventer (BOP), and to collect the flow of oil from the leak points. These efforts are being carried out in conjunction with industry experts and governmental authorities.


A series of diagnostic tests are currently underway on the Deepwater Horizon’s failed BOP to improve understanding of the status and configuration of the BOP and determine whether a ‘top kill’ procedure can be successfully executed. These tests involve pumping drilling fluids into the BOP to measure pressures and validate flow paths. When complete, a decision will be made on the execution of the top kill procedure itself.


This top kill procedure has not been carried out offshore at 5,000 feet water depth before, and its success cannot be assured. It is expected that the entire procedure could take up to two days, and it cannot be predicted how long it will take for the operation to prove successful or otherwise. Should it be necessary, plans and equipment are in place to combine the top kill process with the injection under pressure of bridging material into the BOP to prevent or limit upward flow through the BOP.


BP will continue to provide a live video feed from the seabed through the diagnostic testing and top kill, if undertaken. Throughout the diagnostic process and top kill procedure very significant changes in the appearance of the flows at the seabed will be expected. These will not provide a reliable indicator of the overall progress, or success or failure, of the top kill operation as a whole.


Should the top kill not succeed in fully stopping the flow of oil and gas from the well, BP would then intend to move forward to deployment of the LMRP cap containment system.

Deployment of this system will involve first removing the damaged riser from the top of the BOP to leave a cleanly-cut pipe at the top of the BOP’s lower marine riser package (LMRP). The LMRP cap, an engineered containment device with a sealing grommet, would then be connected to a riser from the Discoverer Enterprise drillship and then placed over the existing LMRP with the intention of capturing most of the oil and gas flowing from the well.


The LMRP cap is already on site and it is anticipated that this option will be available for deployment by the end of May.


Additional options also continue to be progressed, including the option of lowering a second blow-out preventer, or a valve, on top of the failed Deepwater Horizon BOP.


Work on the drilling of two relief wells, begun on May 2 and May 16, continues. Each of the wells is estimated to take some three months to complete from the commencement of drilling.

BP will appoint an Independent Mediator to review and assist in the claims process for the spill associated with the exploratory well that was being drilled by the Transocean Deepwater Horizon in Mississippi Canyon, Block 252.


BP has said consistently that it will pay legitimate claims for loss and damage caused by the spill. BP remains fully committed to responding to and paying claims promptly. To date, more than 26,000 claims already have been submitted, resulting in payments exceeding $36 million.


"We are absolutely committed to a simple, fair claims process that gets funds to people who have been hurt by this disaster as quickly as possible," said BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward. "We have opened claims offices across the region, and will make every effort to reach everyone who has a legitimate claim. And we will appoint an independent mediator so that we have as fair a process as possible for everyone in the Gulf region."


BP has established the claims process in accordance with the requirements of the Oil Pollution Act ("OPA"), which allows claimants to make a claim against BP as a designated responsible party. If a claim is not resolved and paid within 90 days, claimants can submit a claim against the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, and ultimately bring suit.


BP will work to pay all legitimate claims as quickly as possible. Appointing an Independent Mediator is a recognized practice to strengthen claims processes and resolve disputes. BP is working to appoint the best possible person to fill this important role.

In those cases in which a claimant and BP cannot agree on resolution of a claim, the claimant can seek review from the Independent Mediator. The Independent Mediator then will make an advisory decision on the claim.


* If the claimant feels the advisory decision is unreasonable, he or she retains all rights under OPA either to seek reimbursement from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund or to file a claim in court.

* If BP feels the advisory decision is unreasonable, the company may choose not to accept it, but the claimant then may use the Independent Mediator's decision in claiming against the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund or in a subsequent court action.


The Mediator's independence will be ensured by a strict set of rules surrounding the position. The Mediator will have access to his or her own legal counsel and will be free to disagree with BP's position.

In addition to evaluating individual claims, the Independent Mediator also will undertake an independent evaluation of BP's claims process and the approach taken to substantiate claims.


Individual and business claimants may file a claim in one of three ways:


* Call the Deepwater Horizon response hotline number at 1-800-440-0858

* File a claim online at www.bp.com/claims

* Visit one of BP's Claims Centers.

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What is top kill? Is it going to kill the fish?


The primary objective of the top kill process is to put heavy kill mud into the well so that it reduces the pressure and then the flow from the well. Once the kill mud is in the well and it's shut down, then we follow up with cement to plug the leak.


For the top kill procedure we are designing equipment to pump the highest kill rate we can, irrespective of the flow rate of oil from the well, to force a downward flow of mud into the well. This, combined with the heavy drilling fluid is designed to eventually stop the flow. This has never been attempted at these depths. This is very complex – and involves several complex procedures coming together. <h2 class="lightGreenBold"> Detailed description of the procedure </h2> We have the Q4000 vessel at the surface which has a crane for lifting heavy equipment and is a central part of the surface equipment for this procedure. We also have a number of other vessels: the HOS Centerline, with Halliburton pumping equipment; the HOS Strongline; and the BJ Services Blue Dolphin and Halliburton Stim Star IV pumping boats.


A total of 50,000 barrels of mud will be on location to kill the well – far more than necessary, but we want to be prepared for anything. Pumping capacity on location is more than 30,000 hydraulic horsepower.


The mud will be pumped down the 6-5/8 inch drill pipe (pipe is connected to the Q4000), then through 3-inch hoses, which go through the manifold on the seafloor. Then the mud moves through another set of 3-inch hoses attached to the Deepwater Horizon BOP choke and kill lines.


With the manifold, we can also pump the 'junk shot' if necessary to stop too much of the kill mud going out through the top of the BOP rather than going down into the well to stop the flow. By switching valves in the subsea manifold, we can inject the 'bridging material' (the junk), which will prevent such losses and enable the top kill to continue.


We've been testing the junk shot on-shore, looking at different configurations of what might restrict the flow out of the Deepwater Horizon riser and what types of materials would help shut it off. Materials in a junk shot can include well-known items such as pieces of tires, golf balls, and pieces of rope.


Most of the equipment is on site and preparations continue for this operation.


Click on the thumbnail to see a diagram picture of the "top kill" procedure.



Edited by Luke_Wilbur
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A blowout preventer (BOP) is a large device with a series of valves (also referred to as "rams") placed at the top of a well that can be closed for safety reasons during drilling. The rams are designed to close if pressure from an underground formation causes fluids such as oil or natural gas to enter the wellbore and threaten the rig.


By closing the rams, undesired fluid flow can be prevented, thus allowing the opportunity to regain control of the wellbore. Once the well is closed, the situation is then evaluated to determine the procedure required to return the well to safe operating status. A BOP can be installed above ground or under water. BOPs for a deepwater well are powered and controlled remotely by means of hydraulic actuators. Today's average deep-sea BOP can control 15,000 pounds per square inch (psi) in water up to 10,000 feet deep. <a name="7224538"> There are three basic types of valves used in deepwater BOPs: One valve is a "ram" that makes a seal on pipe of a specific diameter by making a sharp horizontal motion. Another type makes seals on pipes of various diameters. A third type of BOP valve seals the wellbore itself.


The Horizon Deepwater BOP contains elements of all three types of valve.


Go to the BP web site for more information




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Washington, DC – Louisiana Congressman Bill Cassidy made the following statement in support of H.Res.1347, a bill honoring the workers who perished in the Deepwater Horizon rig accident.


Thank you, Madame Speaker.


On April 20, Louisiana lost eleven fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons at the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf. Sorrow for their deaths is borne across our state.


As we focus our energies on stopping the spill, it is important that we focus our prayers on the families who are grieving the loss of loved ones. We cannot lose sight of the fact that this incident began as – and is – a painful human tragedy, and I am thankful for all of those in Louisiana who are consoling these families and providing comfort in their time of need.


In mourning their loss, we should also recognize their contributions to Louisiana and the nation.


As this event makes painfully clear, energy security, even at home, is not won easily. The men and women who work on rigs and pipelines endure long hours, tough conditions, and considerable risk to provide us with the energy our nation needs to prosper.


To all of those who make this sacrifice on the nation’s behalf, thank you. And to the families who lost loved ones, our prayers are with you and we are here for you.


I yield back.

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Remarks by the President on the Gulf Oil Spill


East Room


12:50 P.M. EDT


THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Before I take your questions, I want to update the American people on the status of the BP oil spill -– a catastrophe that is causing tremendous hardship in the Gulf Coast, damaging a precious ecosystem, and one that led to the death of 11 workers who lost their lives in the initial explosion.


Yesterday, the federal government gave BP approval to move forward with a procedure known as a “top kill” to try to stop the leak. This involves plugging the well with densely packed mud to prevent any more oil from escaping. And given the complexity of this procedure and the depth of the leak, this procedure offers no guarantee of success. But we’re exploring any reasonable strategies to try and save the Gulf from a spill that may otherwise last until the relief wells are finished -– and that's a process that could take months.


The American people should know that from the moment this disaster began, the federal government has been in charge of the response effort. As far as I’m concerned, BP is responsible for this horrific disaster, and we will hold them fully accountable on behalf of the United States as well as the people and communities victimized by this tragedy. We will demand that they pay every dime they owe for the damage they’ve done and the painful losses that they’ve caused. And we will continue to take full advantage of the unique technology and expertise they have to help stop this leak.


But make no mistake: BP is operating at our direction. Every key decision and action they take must be approved by us in advance. I’ve designated Admiral Thad Allen -– who has nearly four decades of experience responding to such disasters -– as the National Incident Commander, and if he orders BP to do something to respond to this disaster, they are legally bound to do it. So, for example, when they said they would drill one relief well to stem this leak we demanded a backup and ordered them to drill two. And they are in the process of drilling two.


As we devise strategies to try and stop this leak, we’re also relying on the brightest minds and most advanced technology in the world. We’re relying on a team of scientists and engineers from our own national laboratories and from many other nations -– a team led by our Energy Secretary and Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Stephen Chu. And we’re relying on experts who’ve actually dealt with oil spills from across the globe, though none this challenging.


The federal government is also directing the effort to contain and clean up the damage from the spill -– which is now the largest effort of its kind in U.S. history. In this case, the federal, state, and local governments have the resources and expertise to play an even more direct role in the response effort. And I will be discussing this further when I make my second trip to Louisiana tomorrow. But so far we have about 20,000 people in the region who are working around the clock to contain and clean up this oil. We have activated about 1,400 members of the National Guard in four states. We have the Coast Guard on site. We have more than 1,300 vessels assisting in the containment and cleanup efforts. We’ve deployed over 3 million feet of total boom to stop the oil from coming on shore -– and today more than 100,000 feet of boom is being surged to Louisiana parishes that are facing the greatest risk from the oil.


So we’ll continue to do whatever is necessary to protect and restore the Gulf Coast. For example, Admiral Allen just announced that we’re moving forward with a section of Governor Jindal’s barrier island proposal that could help stop oil from coming ashore. It will be built in an area that is most at risk and where the work can be most quickly completed.


We’re also doing whatever it takes to help the men and women whose livelihoods have been disrupted and even destroyed by this spill -– everyone from fishermen to restaurant and hotel owners. So far the Small Business Administration has approved loans and allowed many small businesses to defer existing loan payments. At our insistence, BP is paying economic injury claims, and we’ll make sure that when all is said and done, the victims of this disaster will get the relief that they are owed. We’re not going to abandon our fellow citizens. We’ll help them recover and we will help them rebuild.


And in the meantime, I should also say that Americans can help by continuing to visit the communities and beaches of the Gulf Coast. I was talking to the governors just a couple of days ago, and they wanted me to remind everybody that except for three beaches in Louisiana, all of the Gulf’s beaches are open. They are safe and they are clean.

As we continue our response effort, we’re also moving quickly on steps to ensure that a catastrophe like this never happens again. I’ve said before that producing oil here in America is an essential part of our overall energy strategy. But all drilling must be safe.


In recent months, I’ve spoken about the dangers of too much -- I’ve heard people speaking about the dangers of too much government regulation. And I think we can all acknowledge there have been times in history when the government has overreached. But in this instance, the oil industry’s cozy and sometimes corrupt relationship with government regulators meant little or no regulation at all.


When Secretary Salazar took office, he found a Minerals and Management Service that had been plagued by corruption for years –- this was the agency charged with not only providing permits, but also enforcing laws governing oil drilling. And the corruption was underscored by a recent Inspector General’s report that covered activity which occurred prior to 2007 -- a report that can only be described as appalling. And Secretary Salazar immediately took steps to clean up that corruption. But this oil spill has made clear that more reforms are needed.

For years, there has been a scandalously close relationship between oil companies and the agency that regulates them. That’s why we’ve decided to separate the people who permit the drilling from those who regulate and ensure the safety of the drilling.


I also announced that no new permits for drilling new wells will go forward until a 30-day safety and environmental review was conducted. That review is now complete. Its initial recommendations include aggressive new operating standards and requirements for offshore energy companies, which we will put in place.


Additionally, after reading the report’s recommendations with Secretary Salazar and other members of my administration, we’re going to be ordering the following actions: First, we will suspend the planned exploration of two locations off the coast of Alaska. Second, we will cancel the pending lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico and the proposed lease sale off the coast of Virginia. Third, we will continue the existing moratorium and suspend the issuance of new permits to drill new deepwater wells for six months. And four, we will suspend action on 33 deepwater exploratory wells currently being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico.


What’s also been made clear from this disaster is that for years the oil and gas industry has leveraged such power that they have effectively been allowed to regulate themselves. One example: Under current law, the Interior Department has only 30 days to review an exploration plan submitted by an oil company. That leaves no time for the appropriate environmental review. They result is, they are continually waived. And this is just one example of a law that was tailored by the industry to serve their needs instead of the public’s. So Congress needs to address these issues as soon as possible, and my administration will work with them to do so.

Still, preventing such a catastrophe in the future will require further study and deeper reform. That’s why last Friday, I also signed an executive order establishing the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. While there are a number of ongoing investigations, including an independent review by the National Academy of Engineering, the purpose of this commission is to consider both the root causes of the disaster and offer options on what safety and environmental precautions are necessary.

If the laws on our books are inadequate to prevent such a spill, or if we did not enforce those laws, then I want to know. I want to know what worked and what didn’t work in our response to the disaster, and where oversight of the oil and gas industry broke down.


Let me make one final point. More than anything else, this economic and environmental tragedy –- and it’s a tragedy -– underscores the urgent need for this nation to develop clean, renewable sources of energy. Doing so will not only reduce threats to our environment, it will create a new, homegrown, American industry that can lead to countless new businesses and new jobs.


We’ve talked about doing this for decades, and we’ve made significant strides over the last year when it comes to investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The House of Representatives has already passed a bill that would finally jumpstart a permanent transition to a clean energy economy, and there is currently a plan in the Senate –- a plan that was developed with ideas from Democrats and Republicans –- that would achieve the same goal.


If nothing else, this disaster should serve as a wake-up call that it’s time to move forward on this legislation. It’s time to accelerate the competition with countries like China, who have already realized the future lies in renewable energy. And it’s time to seize that future ourselves. So I call on Democrats and Republicans in Congress, working with my administration, to answer this challenge once and for all.


I'll close by saying this: This oil spill is an unprecedented disaster. The fact that the source of the leak is a mile under the surface, where no human being can go, has made it enormously difficult to stop. But we are relying on every resource and every idea, every expert and every bit of technology, to work to stop it. We will take ideas from anywhere, but we are going to stop it.


And I know that doesn’t lessen the enormous sense of anger and frustration felt by people on the Gulf and so many Americans. Every day I see this leak continue I am angry and frustrated as well. I realize that this entire response effort will continue to be filtered through the typical prism of politics, but that’s not what I care about right now. What I care about right now is the containment of this disaster and the health and safety and livelihoods of our neighbors in the Gulf Coast. And for as long as it takes, I intend to use the full force of the federal government to protect our fellow citizens and the place where they live. I can assure you of that.

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All right. I’m going to take some questions. I’m going to start with Jennifer Loven.


Q Thank you, Mr. President. This is on, right?




Q You just said that the federal government is in charge, and officials in your administration have said this repeatedly. Yet how do you explain that we’re more than five weeks into this crisis and that BP is not always doing as you’re asking, for example with the type of dispersant that’s being used? And if I might add one more; to the many people in the Gulf who, as you said, are angry and frustrated and feel somewhat abandoned, what do you say about whether your personal involvement, your personal engagement, has been as much as it should be either privately or publicly?


THE PRESIDENT: Well, I’ll take the second question first, if you don’t mind. The day that the rig collapsed and fell to the bottom of the ocean, I had my team in the Oval Office that first day. Those who think that we were either slow on our response or lacked urgency don’t know the facts. This has been our highest priority since this crisis occurred.


Personally, I’m briefed every day and have probably had more meetings on this issue than just about any issue since we did our Afghan review. And we understood from day one the potential enormity of this crisis and acted accordingly. So when it comes to the moment this crisis occurred, moving forward, this entire White House and this entire federal government has been singularly focused on how do we stop the leak, and how do we prevent and mitigate the damage to our coastlines.


The challenge we have is that we have not seen a leak like this before, and so people are going to be frustrated until it stops. And I understand that. And if you’re living on the coast and you see this sludge coming at you, you are going to be continually upset, and from your perspective, the response is going to be continually inadequate until it actually stops. And that's entirely appropriate and understandable.


But from Thad Allen, our National Incident Coordinator, through the most junior member of the Coast Guard, or the under-under-under secretary of NOAA, or any of the agencies under my charge, they understand this is the single most important thing that we have to get right.


Now, with respect to the relationship between our government and BP, the United States government has always been in charge of making sure that the response is appropriate. BP, under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, is considered the responsible party, which basically means they’ve got to pay for everything that's done to both stop the leak and mitigate the damage. They do so under our supervision, and any major decision that they make has to be done under the approval of Thad Allen, the National Incident Coordinator.


So this notion that somehow the federal government is sitting on the sidelines and for the three or four or five weeks we’ve just been letting BP make a whole bunch of decisions is simply not true.


What is true is that when it comes to stopping the leak down below, the federal government does not possess superior technology to BP. This is something, by the way -- going back to my involvement -- two or three days after this happened, we had a meeting down in the Situation Room in which I specifically asked Bob Gates and Mike Mullen what assets do we have that could potentially help that BP or other oil companies around the world do not have. We do not have superior technology when it comes to dealing with this particular crisis.

Now, one of the legitimate questions that I think needs to be asked is should the federal government have such capacity. And that's part of what the role of the commission is going to be, is to take a look and say, do we make sure that a consortium of oil companies pay for specifically technology to deal with this kind of incident when it happens. Should that response team that’s effective be under the direct charge of the United States government or a private entity? But for now, BP has the best technology, along with the other oil companies, when it comes to actually capping the well down there.


Now, when it comes to what’s happening on the surface, we’ve been much more involved in the in-site burns, in the skimming. Those have been happening more or less under our direction, and we feel comfortable about many of the steps that have been taken.


There have been areas where there have been disagreements, and I'll give you two examples. Initially on this top kill, there were questions in terms of how effective it could be, but also what were the risks involved, because we’re operating at such a pressurized level, a mile underwater and in such frigid temperatures, that the reactions of various compounds and various approaches had to be calibrated very carefully. That’s when I sent Steven Chu down, the Secretary of Energy, and he brought together a team, basically a brain trust, of some of the smartest folks we have at the National Labs and in academia to essentially serve as a oversight board with BP engineers and scientists in making calculations about how much mud could you pour down, how fast, without risking potentially the whole thing blowing.


So in that situation you’ve got the federal government directly overseeing what BP is doing, and Thad Allen is giving authorization when finally we feel comfortable that the risks of attempting a top kill, for example, are sufficiently reduced that it needs to be tried.


I already mentioned a second example, which is they wanted to drill one relief well. The experience has been that when you drill one relief well, potentially you keep on missing the mark. And so it’s important to have two to maximize the speed and effectiveness of a relief well.


And right now Thad Allen is down there, because I think he -- it’s his view that some of the allocation of boom or other efforts to protect shorelines hasn’t been as nimble as it needs to be. And he said so publicly. And so he will be making sure that, in fact, the resources to protect the shorelines are there immediately.


But here’s the broad point: There has never been a point during this crisis in which this administration, up and down up the line, in all these agencies, hasn’t, number one, understood this was my top priority -- getting this stopped and then mitigating the damage; and number two, understanding that if BP wasn’t doing what our best options were, we were fully empowered and instruct them, to tell them to do something different.

And so if you take a look at what’s transpired over the last four to five weeks, there may be areas where there have been disagreements, for example, on dispersants, and these are complicated issues. But overall, the decisions that have been made have been reflective of the best science that we’ve got, the best expert opinion that we have, and have been weighing various risks and various options to allocate our resources in such a way that we can get this fixed as quickly as possible.

Jake Tapper.


Q Thanks, Mr. President. You say that everything that could be done is being done, but there are those in the region and those industry experts who say that’s not true. Governor Jindal obviously had this proposal for a barrier. They say that if that had been approved when they first asked for it, they would have 10 miles up already. There are fishermen down there who want to work, who want to help, haven’t been trained, haven’t been told to go do so. There are industry experts who say that they’re surprised that tankers haven’t been sent out there to vacuum, as was done in ’93 outside Saudi Arabia. And then, of course, there’s the fact that there are 17 countries that have offered to help and it’s only been accepted from two countries, Norway and Mexico. How can you say that everything that can be done is being done with all these experts and all these officials saying that’s not true?


THE PRESIDENT: Well, let me distinguish between -- if the question is, Jake, are we doing everything perfectly out there, then the answer is absolutely not. We can always do better. If the question is, are we, each time there is an idea, evaluating it and making a decision, is this the best option that we have right now, based on how quickly we can stop this leak and how much damage can we mitigate -- then the answer is yes.


So let’s take the example of Governor Jindal’s barrier islands idea. When I met with him when I was down there two weeks ago, I said I will make sure that our team immediately reviews this idea, that the Army Corps of Engineers is looking at the feasibility of it, and if they think -- if they tell me that this is the best approach to dealing with this problem, then we’re going to move quickly to execute it. If they have a disagreement with Governor Jindal’s experts as to whether this would be effective or not, whether it was going to be cost-effective, given the other things that need to be done, then we’ll sit down and try to figure that out.

And that essentially is what happened, which is why today you saw an announcement where, from the Army Corps’ perspective, there were some areas where this might work, but there are some areas where it would be counter-productive and not a good use of resources.[/b]


So the point is, on each of these points that you just mentioned, the job of our response team is to say, okay, if 17 countries have offered equipment and help, let’s evaluate what they’ve offered: How fast can it get here? Is it actually going to be redundant, or will it actually add to the overall effort -- because in some cases, more may not actually be better. And decisions have been made based on the best information available that says here’s what we need right now. It may be that a week from now or two weeks from now or a month from now the offers from some of those countries might be more effectively utilized.


Now, it’s going to be entirely possible in a operation this large that mistakes are made, judgments prove to be wrong; that people say in retrospect, you know, if we could have done that or we did that, this might have turned out differently -- although in a lot of cases it may be speculation. But the point that I was addressing from Jennifer was, does this administration maintain a constant sense of urgency about this, and are we examining every recommendation, every idea that's out there, and making our best judgment as to whether these are the right steps to take, based on the best experts that we know of. And on that answer, the answer is yes -- or on that question, the answer is yes.


Chuck Todd.


Q I just want to follow up on the question as it has to do with the relationship between the government and BP. It seems that you’ve made the case on the technical issues. But onshore, Admiral Allen admitted the other day in a White House briefing that they needed to be pushed harder. Senator Mary Landrieu this morning said it’s not clear who’s in charge, that the government should be in charge. Why not ask BP to simply step aside on the onshore stuff, make it an entirely government thing? Obviously BP pays for it, but why not ask them to just completely step aside on that front?


And then also, can you respond to all the Katrina comparisons that people are making about this with yourself?


THE PRESIDENT: Well, I’ll take your second question first. I’ll leave it to you guys to make those comparisons, and make judgments on it, because what I’m spending my time thinking about is how do we solve the problem. And when the problem is solved and people look back and do an assessment of all the various decisions that were made, I think people can make a historical judgment. And I’m confident that people are going to look back and say that this administration was on top of what was an unprecedented crisis.


In terms of shoreline protection, the way this thing has been set up under the oil spill act of 1990 -- Oil Pollution Act -- is that BP has contracts with a whole bunch of contractors on file in the event that there is an oil spill, and as soon as the Deep Horizon well went down, then their job is to activate those and start paying them. So a big chunk of the 20,000 who are already down there are being paid by BP.


The Coast Guard’s job is to approve and authorize whatever BP is doing. Now, what Admiral Allen said today, and the reason he’s down there today, is that if BP’s contractors are not moving as nimbly and as effectively as they need to be, then it is already the power of the federal government to redirect those resources. I guess the point being that the Coast Guard and our military are potentially already in charge as long as we’ve got good information and we are making the right decisions.


And if there are mistakes that are being made right now, we’ve got the power to correct those decisions. We don’t have to necessarily reconfigure the setup down there. What we do have to make sure of is, is that on each and every one of the decisions that are being made about what beaches to protect, what’s going to happen with these marshes, if we build a barrier island, how is this going to have an impact on the ecology of the area over the long term -- in each of those decisions, we’ve got to get it right.


Q You understand the credibility of BP seems to be so bad -- that there’s almost no trust that they’re getting --


THE PRESIDENT: I understand. And part of the purpose of this press conference is to explain to the folks down in the Gulf that ultimately it is our folks down there who are responsible. If they’re not satisfied with something that’s happening, then they need to let us know and we will immediately question BP and ask them why isn’t X, Y, Z happening. And those skimmers, those boats, that boom, the people who are out there collecting some of the oil that’s already hit shore, they can be moved and redirected at any point.


And so, understandably, people are frustrated, because, look, this is a big mess coming to shore and even if we’ve got a perfect organizational structure, spots are going to be missed, oil is going to go to places that maybe somebody thinks it could have been prevented from going. There is going to be damage that is heartbreaking to see. People’s livelihoods are going to be affected in painful ways. The best thing for us to do is to make sure that every decision about how we’re allocating the resources that we’ve got is being made based on the best expert advice that’s available.


So I’ll take one last stab at this, Chuck. The problem I don’t think is that BP is off running around doing whatever it wants and nobody is minding the store. Inevitably in something this big, there are going to be places where things fall short. But I want everybody to understand today that our teams are authorized to direct BP in the same way that they’d be authorized to direct those same teams if they were technically being paid by the federal government. In either circumstance, we’ve got the authority that we need. We just got to make sure that we’re exercising it effectively.


All right, Steve Thomma.


Q Thank you, sir. On April 21st, Admiral Allen tells us the government started dispatching equipment rapidly to the Gulf, and you just said on day one you recognized the enormity of this situation. Yet here we are 39, 40 days later, you’re still having to rush more equipment, more boom. There are still areas of the coast unprotected. Why is it taking so long? And did you really act from day one for a worst-case scenario?


THE PRESIDENT: We did. Part of the problem you’ve got is -- let’s take the example of boom. The way the plans have been developed -- and I’m not an expert on this, but this is as it’s been explained to me -- pre-deploying boom would have been the right thing to do; making sure that there is boom right there in the region at various spots where you could anticipate, if there was a spill of this size, the boom would be right there ready to grab.


Unfortunately, that wasn’t always the case. And so this goes back to something that Jake asked earlier. When it comes to the response since the crisis happened, I am very confident that the federal government has acted consistently with a sense of urgency.


When it comes to prior to this accident happening, I think there was a lack of anticipating what the worst-case scenarios would be. And that's a problem. And part of that problem was lodged in MMS and the way that that agency was structured. That was the agency in charge of providing permitting and making decisions in terms of where drilling could take place, but also in charge of enforcing the safety provisions. And as I indicated before, the IG report, the Inspecter General’s report that came out, was scathing in terms of the problems there.


And when Ken Salazar came in, he cleaned a lot of that up. But more needed to be done, and more needs to be done, which is part of the reason why he separated out the permitting function from the functions that involve enforcing the various safety regulations.


But I think on a whole bunch of fronts, you had a complacency when it came to what happens in the worst-case scenario.


I'll give you another example, because this is something that some of you have written about -- the question of how is it that oil companies kept on getting environmental waivers in getting their permits approved. Well, it turns out that the way the process works, first of all, there is a thorough environmental review as to whether a certain portion of the Gulf should be leased or not. That’s a thorough-going environmental evaluation. Then the overall lease is broken up into segments for individual leases, and again there’s an environmental review that’s done.

But when it comes to a specific company with its exploration plan in that one particular area -- they’re going to drill right here in this spot -- Congress mandated that only 30 days could be allocated before a yes or no answer was given. That was by law. So MMS’s hands were tied. And as a consequence, what became the habit, predating my administration, was you just automatically gave the environmental waiver, because you couldn’t complete an environmental study in 30 days.


So what you’ve got is a whole bunch of aspects to how oversight was exercised in deepwater drilling that were very problematic. And that’s why it’s so important that this commission moves forward and examines, from soup to nuts, why did this happen; how should this proceed in a safe, effective manner; what’s required when it comes to worst-case scenarios to prevent something like this from happening.


I continue to believe that oil production is important, domestic oil production is important. But I also believe we can’t do this stuff if we don’t have confidence that we can prevent crises like this from happening again. And it’s going to take some time for the experts to make those determinations. And as I said, in the meantime, I think it’s appropriate that we keep in place the moratorium that I’ve already issued.

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Q Thank you, Mr. President. First of all, Elizabeth Birnbaum resigned today. Did she resign? Was she fired? Was she forced out? And if so, why? And should other heads roll as we go on here?


Secondly, with regard to the Minerals Management Service, Secretary Salazar yesterday basically blamed the Bush administration for the cozy relationship there, and you seemed to suggest that when you spoke in the Rose Garden a few weeks ago when you said, for too long, a decade or more -- most of those years, of course, the Bush administration -- there’s been a cozy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency that permits them to drill. But you knew as soon as you came in, and Secretary Salazar did, about this cozy relationship, but you continued to give permits -- some of them under questionable circumstances. Is it fair to blame the Bush administration? Don't you deserve some of that?


THE PRESIDENT: Well, let me just make the point that I made earlier, which is Salazar came in and started cleaning house, but the culture had not fully changed in MMS. And absolutely I take responsibility for that. There wasn’t sufficient urgency in terms of the pace of how those changes needed to take place.


There’s no evidence that some of the corrupt practices that had taken place earlier took place under the current administration’s watch. But a culture in which oil companies were able to get what they wanted without sufficient oversight and regulation -- that was a real problem. Some of it was constraints of the law, as I just mentioned, but we should have busted through those constraints.


Now, with respect to Ms. Birnbaum, I found out about her resignation today. Ken Salazar has been in testimony throughout the day, so I don’t know the circumstances in which this occurred. I can tell you what I’ve said to Ken Salazar, which is that we have to make sure, if we are going forward with domestic oil production, that the federal agency charged with overseeing its safety and security is operating at the highest level. And I want people in there who are operating at the highest level and aren’t making excuses when things break down, but are intent on fixing them. And I have confidence that Ken Salazar can do that.

Q Is his job safe?






Q Thank you, Mr. President. We’re learning today that the oil has been gushing as much as five times the initial estimates. What does that tell you and the American people about the extent to which BP can be trusted on any of the information that it’s providing, whether the events leading up to the spill, any of their information?


THE PRESIDENT: Well, BP’s interests are aligned with the public interest to the extent that they want to get this well capped. It’s bad for their business. It’s bad for their bottom line. They’re going to be paying a lot of damages, and we’ll be staying on them about that. So I think it’s fair to say that they want this thing capped as badly as anybody does and they want to minimize the damage as much as they can.


I think it is a legitimate concern to question whether BP’s interests in being fully forthcoming about the extent of the damage is aligned with the public interest. I mean, their interests may be to minimize the damage, and to the extent that they have better information than anybody else, to not be fully forthcoming. So my attitude is we have to verify whatever it is they say about the damage.

This is an area, by the way, where I do think our efforts fell short. And I’m not contradicting my prior point that people were working as hard as they could and doing the best that they could on this front. But I do believe that when the initial estimates came that there were -- it was 5,000 barrels spilling into the ocean per day, that was based on satellite imagery and satellite data that would give a rough calculation. At that point, BP already had a camera down there, but wasn’t fully forthcoming in terms of what did those pictures look like. And when you set it up in time-lapse photography, experts could then make a more accurate determination. The administration pushed them to release it, but they should have pushed them sooner. I mean, I think that it took too long for us to stand up our flow-tracking group that has now made these more accurate ranges of calculation.


Now, keep in mind that that didn’t change what our response was. As I said from the start, we understood that this could be really bad. We are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. And so there aren’t steps that would have taken in terms of trying to cap the well, or skimming the surface, or the in-site burns, or preparing to make sure when this stuff hit shore that we could minimize the damage -- all those steps would have been the same even if we had information that this flow was coming out faster.


And eventually, we would have gotten better information because, by law, the federal government, if it’s going to be charging BP for the damage that it causes, is going to have to do the best possible assessment. But there was a lag of several weeks that I think shouldn’t have happened.


Jackie Calmes, New York Times.


Q Thank you, Mr. President. I want to follow up on something -- exchange you had with Chip. Leaving aside the existing permits for drilling in the Gulf, before -- weeks before BP, you had called for expanded drilling. Do you now regret that decision? And why did you do so knowing what you have described today about the sort of dysfunction in the MMS?


THE PRESIDENT: I continue to believe what I said at that time, which was that domestic oil production is an important part of our overall energy mix. It has to be part of an overall energy strategy. I also believe that it is insufficient to meet the needs of our future, which is why I’ve made huge investments in clean energy, why we continue to promote solar and wind and biodiesel and a whole range of other approaches, why we’re putting so much emphasis on energy efficiency.


But we’re not going to be able to transition to these clean energy strategies right away. I mean, we’re still years off and some technological breakthroughs away from being able to operate on purely a clean energy grid. During that time, we’re going to be using oil. And to the extent that we’re using oil, it makes sense for us to develop our oil and natural gas resources here in the United States and not simply rely on imports. That’s important for our economy; that’s important for economic growth.


So the overall framework, which is to say domestic oil production should be part of our overall energy mix, I think continues to be the right one. Where I was wrong was in my belief that the oil companies had their act together when it came to worst-case scenarios.


Now, that wasn’t based on just my blind acceptance of their statements. Oil drilling has been going on in the Gulf, including deepwater, for quite some time. And the record of accidents like this we hadn’t seen before. But it just takes one for us to have a wake-up call and recognize that claims that fail-safe procedures were in place, or that blowout preventers would function properly, or that valves would switch on and shut things off, that -- whether it’s because of human error, because of the technology was faulty, because when you’re operating at these depths you can’t anticipate exactly what happens -- those assumptions proved to be incorrect.


And so I’m absolutely convinced that we have to do a thorough-going scrub of that -- those safety procedures and those safety records. And we have to have confidence that even if it’s just a one-in-a-million shot, that we’ve got enough technology know-how that we can shut something like this down not in a month, not in six weeks, but in two or three or four days. And I don’t have that confidence right now.


Q If I could follow up --




Q Do you -- are you sorry now? Do you regret that your team had not done the reforms at the Minerals Management Service that you’ve subsequently called for? And I’m also curious as to how it is that you didn’t know about Ms. Birnbaum’s resignation/firing before --


THE PRESIDENT: Well, you’re assuming it was a firing. If it was a resignation, then she would have submitted a letter to Mr. Salazar this morning, at a time when I had a whole bunch of other stuff going on.

Q So you rule out that she was fired?


THE PRESIDENT: Come on, Jackie, I don’t know. I’m telling you the -- I found out about it this morning, so I don’t yet know the circumstances, and Ken Salazar has been in testimony on the Hill.


With respect to your first question, at MMS, Ken Salazar was in the process of making these reforms. But the point that I’m making is, is that obviously they weren’t happening fast enough. If they had been happening fast enough, this might have been caught. Now, it’s possible that it might now have been caught. I mean, we could have gone through a whole new process for environmental review; you could have had a bunch of technical folks take a look at BP’s plans, and they might have said, this is -- meets industry standards, we haven’t had an accident like this in 15 years and we should go ahead.


That’s what this commission has to discover, is -- was this a systemic breakdown? Is this something that could happen once in a million times? Is it something that could happen once in a thousand times, or once every 5,000 times? What exactly are the risks involved?


Now, let me make one broader point, though, about energy. The fact that oil companies now have to go a mile underwater and then drill another three miles below that in order to hit oil tells us something about the direction of the oil industry. Extraction is more expensive and it is going to be inherently more risky.


And so that’s part of the reason you never heard me say, “Drill, baby, drill” -- because we can’t drill our way out of the problem. It may be part of the mix as a bridge to a transition to new technologies and new energy sources, but we should be pretty modest in understanding that the easily accessible oil has already been sucked up out of the ground.


And as we are moving forward, the technology gets more complicated, the oil sources are more remote, and that means that there’s probably going to end up being more risk. And we as a society are going to have to make some very serious determinations in terms of what risks are we willing to accept. And that’s part of what the commission I think is going to have to look at.


I will tell you, though, that understanding we need to grow -- we’re going to be consuming oil for our industries and for how people live in this country, we’re going to have to start moving on this transition. And that’s why when I went to the Republican Caucus just this week, I said to them, let’s work together. You’ve got Lieberman and Kerry, who previously were working with Lindsey Graham -- even though Lindsey is not on the bill right now -- coming up with a framework that has the potential to get bipartisan support, and says, yes, we’re going to still need oil production, but you know what, we can see what’s out there on the horizon, and it’s a problem if we don't start changing how we operate.

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Q Two issues. Some in your government have said the federal government’s boot is on the neck of BP. Are you comfortable with that imagery, sir? Is your boot on the neck of BP? And can you understand, sir, why some in the Gulf who feel besieged by this oil spill consider that a meaningless, possibly ludicrous, metaphor?


With respect to the metaphor that was used, I think Ken Salazar would probably be the first one to admit that he has been frustrated, angry, and occasionally emotional about this issue, like a lot of people have. I mean, there are a lot of folks out there who see what’s happening and are angry at BP, are frustrated that it hasn’t stopped. And so I’ll let Ken answer for himself. I would say that we don’t need to use language like that; what we need is actions that make sure that BP is being held accountable. And that’s what I intend to do, and I think that’s what Ken Salazar intends to do.


But, look, we’ve gone through a difficult year and a half. This is just one more bit of difficulty. And this is going to be hard not just right now, it’s going to be hard for months to come. The Gulf --


Q This --


THE PRESIDENT: This spill. The Gulf is going to be affected in a bad way. And so my job right now is just to make sure that 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.


Q The spill?


THE PRESIDENT: The spill. And it’s not just me, by the way. When I woke this morning and I’m shaving and Malia knocks on my bathroom door and she peeks in her head and she says, “Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?” Because I think everybody understands that when we are fouling the Earth like this, it has concrete implications not just for this generation, but for future generations.

I grew up in Hawaii where the ocean is sacred. And when you see birds flying around with oil all over their feathers and turtles dying, that doesn’t just speak to the immediate economic consequences of this; this speaks to how are we caring for this incredible bounty that we have.


And so sometimes when I hear folks down in Louisiana expressing frustrations, I may not always think that they're comments are fair; on the other hand, I probably think to myself, these are folks who grew up fishing in these wetlands and seeing this as an integral part of who they are -- and to see that messed up in this fashion would be infuriating.


So the thing that the American people need to understand is that not a day goes by where the federal government is not constantly thinking about how do we make sure that we minimize the damage on this, we close this thing down, we review what happened to make sure that it does not happen again. And in that sense, there are analogies to what’s been happening in terms of in the financial markets and some of these other areas where big crises happen -- it forces us to do some soul searching. And I think that’s important for all of us to do.


In the meantime, my job is to get this fixed. And in case anybody wonders -- in any of your reporting, in case you were wondering who’s responsible, I take responsibility. It is my job to make sure that everything is done to shut this down. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen right away or the way I’d like it to happen. It doesn’t mean that we’re not going to make mistakes. But there shouldn’t be any confusion here: The federal government is fully engaged, and I’m fully engaged.


All right. Thank you very much, everybody.



1:53 P.M. EDT

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Guest Responding to Tipur

Law I am only going to tell you this once; Since you are using some one else’s words with out giving the web site credit from where you are getting your info from. You do understand what copy write infringement is?




All specifically government produced works are in the public domain and are not subject to any copyright law and for the record, it's "copyright" not "copy write."

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Guest Tipur



All specifically government produced works are in the public domain and are not subject to any copyright law and for the record, it's "copyright" not "copy write."




You are correct, I read the law on it. Law I am sorry I was wrong.

Guest thank you. That's very liberating information to have.

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FYI. I do this because I feel it is my civic duty to get the message out. Too many news outlets distort what is actually stated.


Remarks by the President After Briefing on BP Oil Spill

U.S. Coast Guard Station Grande Isle

Grande Isle, Louisiana


THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. I know it's a little warm out here so want to get started. I've just had a meeting with these governors, members of Congress, local officials, as well as Admiral Thad Allen, the National Incident Commander in charge of response efforts to the BP oil spill. Admiral Allen gave us an update, the latest information on both the efforts to plug the well, as well as giving us an update on arrangements and coordination that's being made with respect to mitigating this damage that's been done.


He updated us on these latest efforts to stop the leak, mitigate the damage to the great beaches of the Gulf coast, and I had the chance to visit with -- Charlotte -- a beach like Port Fourchon that gives you a sense of what extraordinary efforts are being made at the local level, but also the damage that we're already starting to see as a consequence of this spill.


Now, our mission remains the same as it has since this disaster began, since the day I visited Louisiana nearly four weeks ago: We want to stop the leak; we want to contain and clean up the oil; and we want to help the people of this region return to their lives and their livelihoods as soon as possible.


And our response treats this event for what it is: It's an assault on our shores, on our people, on the regional economy, and on communities like this one. This isn't just a mess that we've got to mop up. People are watching their livelihoods wash up on the beach. Parents are worried about the implications for their children's health. Every resident of this community has watched this nightmare threaten the dreams that they've worked so hard to build. And they want it made right, and they want to make it right now.


I just had a chance to listen to Mayor David Carmadelle of Grande Isle, our host here, telling us heartbreaking stories about fishermen who are trying to figure out where the next paycheck is going to come from, how are they going to pay a mortgage or a note on their boat. And he is having to dig into his pocket at this point to make sure that some of them are able to deal with the economic impact. So this is something that has to be dealt with immediately, not sometime later. And that's everybody's driving focus -- everybody who is standing behind me. This is our highest priority and it deserves a response that is equal to the task.


That's why this has already been the largest cleanup effort in U.S. history. On the day this disaster began, even as we launched a search and rescue effort for workers on the drilling rig, we were already staging equipment in the event of a larger-scale spill. By the time we discovered the third breach, a week after the Deepwater Horizon platform sank, we had already stationed more than 70 vessels and hundreds of thousands of feet of protective boom on site.

Today, there are more than 20,000 people in the region working around the clock to contain and clean up this spill. We've activated about 1,400 members of the National Guard across four states. Nearly 1,400 vessels are aiding in the containment and cleanup effort. And we deployed more than 3 million feet of hard and sorbent boom, including an additional 100,000 just yesterday for these parishes in Louisiana that face the greatest threat.


Now, I've made clear to Admiral Allen and I did so again today that he should get whatever he needs to deal with this crisis. Whatever he needs, he will get.


Right now, we're still within the window where we don't yet know the outcome of the highly complex top kill procedure that the federal government authorized BP to use to try to stop the leak. If it is successful, it would obviously be welcome news. If it's not, a team of some of the world's top scientists, engineers and experts, led by our Energy Secretary and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu, has for some time being -- has for some time been exploring any and all reasonable contingency plans.


But our response will continue with its full force regardless of the outcome of the top kill approach -- because even if the leak was stopped today it wouldn't change the fact that these waters still contain oil from what is now the largest spill in American history. And more of it will come ashore.


To ensure that we're fully prepared for that, and in accordance with input from folks down here, I've directed Secretary Napolitano and Admiral Allen to triple the manpower in places where oil has hit the shore or is within 24 hours of impact. This increase will allow us to further intensify this already historic response, contain and remove oil more quickly, and help minimize the time that any oil comes into contact with our coastline. That means deploying more boom, cleaning more beaches, performing more monitoring of wildlife and impact to this ecosystem.


We're also going to continue to do whatever it takes to help Americans whose livelihoods have been upended by this spill. Gulf Coast residents should know that we've gathered all pertinent information regarding available assistance and the federal response in one place at whitehouse.gov.


We have ordered BP to pay economic injury claims, and we will make sure they deliver. And the parish presidents and governors here in Louisiana were already giving us some sense of some of the bureaucratic problems that we're going to have to cut through, but we are going to cut through them. And for those who are in economic distress, if you've already filed a claim and you're not satisfied with the resolution, then whitehouse.gov will point you in the right direction.


As I said yesterday, the Small Business Administration has stepped in to help businesses by approving loans, but also as important, allowing many to defer existing loan payments. A lot of folks are still loaded up with loans that they had from Katrina and other natural disasters down here, so they may need some additional help.


If you're a small business owner and you weren't aware of some of the programs that have been put in place or haven't participated, then, again, the White House website will connect you to the resources you need. And we are making sure that all the parish presidents know, and folks like the mayor, other local officials are going to be aware of how they can get immediate help from us.


What's more, we've stationed doctors and scientists across the five Gulf States to look out for people's health and then to monitor any ill effects felt by cleanup workers and local residents. And we've begun setting up a system to track these efforts -- excuse me, to track these effects -- and ensure folks get the care that they need. And we've told BP that we expect them to pay for that, too.


As I've said before, BP is the responsible party for this disaster. What that means is they're legally responsible for stopping the leak and they're financially responsible for the enormous damage that they've created. And we're going to hold them accountable, along with any other party responsible for the initial explosion and loss of life on that platform.


But as I said yesterday, and as I repeated in the meeting that we just left, I ultimately take responsibility for solving this crisis. I'm the President and the buck stops with me. So I give the people of this community and the entire Gulf my word that we're going to hold ourselves accountable to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to stop this catastrophe, to defend our natural resources, to repair the damage, and to keep this region on its feet. Justice will be done for those whose lives have been upended by this disaster, for the families of those whose lives have been lost -- that is a solemn pledge that I am making.


I think I can speak for anybody here, and for anybody who has been involved in the response and the cleanup effort, and for most Americans, when I say that I would gladly do whatever it takes to end this disaster today. But I want to also repeat something that I said to the group as a whole while we were meeting. This is a manmade catastrophe that's still evolving and we face a long-term recovery and restoration effort.


America has never experienced an event like this before. And that means that as we respond to it, not every judgment we make is going to be right the first time out. Sometimes, there are going to be disagreements between experts, or between federal and state and local officials, or among state officials, or between states, about what the most effective measures will be.


Sometimes, there are going to be risks and unintended consequences associated with a particular mitigation strategy that we consider. In other words, there are going to be a lot of judgment calls involved here. There are not going to be silver bullets or a lot of perfect answers for some of the challenges that we face.

Understandably, the feelings of frustration and anger, the sense that any response is inadequate -- we expect that frustration and anger to continue until we actually solve this problem. But in the meantime, we've got to make sure that everybody is working in concert, that everybody is moving in the same direction. And I want everybody to know that everybody here -- at every level -- is working night and day to end this crisis. We're considering every single idea out there, especially from folks who know these communities best.


Admiral Allen announced yesterday, for example, that, after a bunch of back-and-forth between state and federal experts, he is prepared to authorize moving forward with a portion of the idea for a barrier island that may stop some of the oil from coming ashore. We had an extensive conversation about this and -- to see whether additional steps can be taken on this barrier island idea.


And what I told the parish president, what I told the Governor, is that if there is an idea that can be shown to work, then we should move forward on it, and they deserve quick answers. But I also reminded everybody that we've got to make sure that whatever we do is actually going to work, particularly because we're going to have not unlimited resources, at least not right now. For example, there's a limited amount of boom. We're going to try to get more boom manufactured. But that may take some time, and that means we're going to have to make some decisions about how to deploy it effectively.


The bottom line is this: Every decision we make is based on a single criterion -– what's going to best protect and make whole the people and the ecosystems of the Gulf.


And I want to thank everybody in this region who's rolled up their sleeves and pitched in to help -– from the National Guard putting their experience to the task, to the local officials and every citizen who loves this area and calls it home, every American who's traveled to the region to lend a hand. If any American is looking for ways to volunteer and help, then we've put links to that information on our website, as well -- that's whitehouse.gov.


And, all these governors -- Bobby Jindal, as well as Charlie Crist and Bob Riley, they want -- and I know Haley Barbour is not here but I think he agrees with this, as well -- one of the powerful ways that you can help the Gulf right now is to visit the communities and the beaches off of the coast. Except for three beaches here in Louisiana, all of the Gulf's beaches at this moment are open, they are safe and they are clean. And so that's always a good way to help, is to come down and provide support to the communities along the coasts.


To the people of the Gulf Coast: I know that you've weathered your fair share of trials and tragedy. I know there have been times where you've wondered if you were being asked to face them alone. I am here to tell you that you're not alone. You will not be abandoned. You will not be left behind. The cameras at some point may leave; the media may get tired of the story; but we will not. We are on your side and we will see this through. We're going to keep at this every day until the leak has stopped, until this coastline is clean, and your communities are made whole again. That's my promise to you. And that is a promise on behalf of a nation. It is one that we will keep.


And I will make one last point -- and I said this to every leader who is here: If something is not going right down here, then they need to talk to Thad Allen. And if they're not getting satisfaction from Thad Allen, then they can talk to me. There's nobody here who can't get in touch with me directly if there is an idea, a suggestion, or a logjam that needs to be dealt with.


So we're in this together. And it's going to be a difficult time, and obviously the folks down here are going to be feeling the brunt of it, but we're going to make sure that we're doing everything we can to get this solved as quickly as possible.


And I want to again think everybody here for the extraordinary work that they're putting in. You shouldn't underestimate how hard these folks are working, day in, day out, on behalf of their constituencies.


So thank you very much. Thank you, everybody. (Applause.)


Q Mr. President, how confident are you that it will be -- that the leak will be plugged soon?


THE PRESIDENT: All I can say is that we've got the best minds working on it and we're going to keep on at it until we get it plugged.

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Information on Spill-Related Damages and Claims


Fishermen and those affected by the BP Oil Spill who wish to contact BP about a claim should call 1-800-440-0858. For those who have already pursued the BP claims process and are not satisfied with BP’s resolution, can call the Coast Guard at 1-800-280-7118. For more information on assistance for small business owners and others in affected areas, visit DisasterAssistance.gov.

What You Can Do


* Request volunteer information and register to volunteer: (866)-448-5816

* Submit your vessel as a vessel of opportunity skimming system or submit alternative response technology, services or products:

(281) 366-5511

* Report oiled or injured wildlife: 1-866-557-1401

* Report oil on land: 1-866-448-5816

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BP Oil-Spill Related Claims


BP is committed to pay legitimate and objectively verifiable claims for loss and damage caused by the spill – this may include claims for:


* Assessment

* Mitigation and clean up of spilled oil

* Real and property damage caused by the oil

* Personal injury caused by the spill

* Commercial losses, including loss of earnings and profit

* Other losses as contemplated by applicable laws and regulations


The following is additional information as to how the claims process works:


* Personnel at the Claims Line will provide each caller with information on how to submit a claim. Information on the claims process can also be found at the link below.

* Each claim will be assigned to an adjuster and the claim will promptly be investigated and evaluated.

* Larger and more complex claims may require additional investigation and documentation prior to evaluation and resolution.

* BP will pay resolved claims promptly.


General Program Requirements

In order to be eligible for this form of assistance, you must have been affected by an oil spill as described above.


Program Contact Information

To register a claim, please call the toll-free claims line, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:


You may also submit a claim online at:



For those who have already pursued the BP claims process and are not satisfied with BP’s resolution, please call the U.S. Coast Guard at:



For more information, please visit:



Managing Agency

British Petroleum


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Guest Tea Party Patriot

We all are learning the truth at an accelerated pace these days. Many Gulf Coast residents will not recover from this accident. Volunteers are having respiratory problems from the toxic disbursements used to limit this disaster. I hope our administration and BP will not treat them the same way we did to the many firefighters who died of respiratory problems volunteering for 911 disaster in New York. The least BP and the administration should do is give them the proper safety equipment.


What frustrates me the most is that BP has controlled the information given to the public. Their management should have been forced to make all information transparent. Now I hear that they are trying to pool all the lawsuit into one national settlement. This will cause States and individuals to not receive the money they deserve. I am not a fan of big government. I am not also a fan of big business. I hate the fact that both Haliburton and Deepwater Horizon are headquarted in foreign countries to evade income taxes. I hate the fact these two companies will not tell everyone what they really know. All their records on this incident should be seized and made transparent.


I was happy to hear President Obama say he made mistakes. I was not happy to read about the corruption in MMS. This really makes me wonder if our government will not have the same problems administrating health care. Greed is a powerful human nature.


In response to the recent disaster, the Greater New Orleans Foundation is opening the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund. If you would like to learn more about the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund, please call Josephine Everly at (504)598-4663


More information can be found here.




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Guest Lacy Barnes

Last Sunday's Gulf Aid Benefit Concert raised $300,088.65 The Foundation will be distributing the funds in the coming weeks.


"This was truly an 8-day wonder," said David Freedman, General Manager of WWOZ and a member of the board of the Gulf Relief Foundation. "The Foundation's first distribution will be to the fishing community most impacted by the shutdown of activity in St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes.


Consulting with the United Commercial Fishermen's Association, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and the United Way, Gulf Relief Foundation officials will be traveling to the area next week to talk to people on the ground about their needs. In the following two weeks, working with Tulane School of Social Work we'll begin triage activities, followed by case management and financial support," Freedman said.


"Last Sunday's Gulf Aid benefit concert is just the first in a series of food and music events planned by the Gulf Relief Foundation to raise additional relief funds," said Sidney D. Torres, owner of SDT and Foundation board member. "Donations are still coming in and we expect a boost in donations from tomorrow night's documentary airing on Fuse TV," Torres said. Fuse is carried in New Orleans on Cox channel 359, DirecTV channel 339 and DISH channel 158.


Fuse, Madison Square Garden's national music television network, will air "GULF AID: Concert for the Coast" on Saturday, May 22nd at 11pm ET/10pm CT. The hour-long benefit concert will feature Lenny Kravitz, John Legend, Ani Difranco, Allen Toussaint, The Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Mos Def.


The Gulf Aid Benefit concert was produced by Rehage Entertainment, Sponsored by the Jaeger Foundation, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the Anheuser-Busch Foundation, Southern Eagle, Champagne and Mockler Beverage, and organized by WWOZ-FM, SDT Waste and Disposal and the MCC group.


To continue to help, donations can be made by texting GULFAID with a space followed by the amount you want to contribute to 27138 (ie; "GULFAID 10" to"27138"), by logging on to www.gulfaid.org or mailed to Gulf Relief Foundation, a 501 C3 non-profit corporation located at P.O. Box 6917, Metairie, LA 70009, that supports organizations focused on wetlands/coastal environmental issues and the regional seafood industry.

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BP started the "top kill" operations to stop the flow of oil from the MC252 well in the Gulf of Mexico at 1300 CDT on May 26, 2010.


The procedure was intended to stem the flow of oil and gas and ultimately kill the well by injecting heavy drilling fluids through the blow-out preventer on the seabed, down into the well.


Despite successfully pumping a total of over 30,000 barrels of heavy mud, in three attempts at rates of up to 80 barrels a minute, and deploying a wide range of different bridging materials, the operation did not overcome the flow from the well.


The Government, together with BP, have therefore decided to move to the next step in the subsea operations, the deployment of the Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP) Cap Containment System.

The operational plan first involves cutting and then removing the damaged riser from the top of the failed Blow-Out Preventer (BOP) to leave a cleanly-cut pipe at the top of the BOP's LMRP. The cap is designed to be connected to a riser from the Discoverer Enterprise drillship and placed over the LMRP with the intention of capturing most of the oil and gas flowing from the well. The LMRP cap is already on site and it is currently anticipated that it will be connected in about four days.


This operation has not been previously carried out in 5,000 feet of water and the successful deployment of the containment system cannot be assured.


Drilling of the first relief well continues and is currently at 12,090 feet. Drilling of the second relief well is temporarily suspended and is expected to recommence shortly from 8,576 feet.

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Guest Maggie

Researchers say they are worried more undersea plumes are being created by the use of chemical dispersants to break up the oil a mile undersea at the site of the leak. These dispersants could pose a big danger to fish larvae and creatures that filter the waters for food.


This web site has real-time access to satellite imagery and measurements of the oceans and coastal areas within the Gulf of Mexico.





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Guest Maggie

A multidisciplinary group of LSU researchers has developed a series of maps charting the population demographics of the region surrounding the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


“The oil spill has implications for multiple demographic segments of the population,” said Troy Blanchard, LSU professor of sociology. “It’s important that we be able to identify at risk populations in order to determine where needs for support infrastructures may fall.”


The maps detail the percentage of impoverished areas impacted by the spill; the amount of minorities in affected areas; the amount of workers employed in the oil and gas extraction industry; and the total population overall in those areas.



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