President Obama's Friday statement on the Gulf oil spill - - The News for South Mississippi

President Obama's Friday statement on the Gulf oil spill

WASHINGTON, DC - President Barack Obama spoke briefly Friday morning about the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Below is the full text of his statement from the Rose Garden.

Good morning, everybody. Before I make a statement on the economy, I just want to offer an update on the ongoing federal response to the worsening oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

I have dispatched the Secretaries of Interior and Homeland Security, as well as the Administrator of the EPA, my Assistant for Energy and Climate Change Policy, and the NOAA Administrator to the Gulf Coast to ensure that we continue to do everything necessary to respond to this event. And I expect their reports from the ground today.

As I said yesterday, BP is ultimately responsible under the law for paying the costs of response and cleanup operations, but we are fully prepared to meet our responsibilities to any and all affected communities. And that's why we've been working closely with state and local authorities since the day of the explosion.

There are now five staging areas to protect sensitive shorelines; approximately 1,900 federal response personnel are in the area; and more than 300 response vessels and aircraft on the scene 24/7. We've also laid approximately 217,000 feet of protective boom, and there are more on the way.

I've order Secretary Salazar to conduct a thorough review of this incident and report back to me in 30 days on what, if any, additional precautions and technologies should be required to prevent accidents like this from happening again. And we're going to make sure that any leases going forward have those safeguards. We've also dispatched teams to the Gulf to inspect all deepwater rigs and platforms to address safety concerns.

So, let me be clear. 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. The local economies and livelihoods of the people of the Gulf Coast as well as the ecology of the region are at stake. And we're going to continue to update the American people on the situation in the Gulf going forward.

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