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-- -- -- -- Before I take your questions one upgrade the American people on the status of the BP oil spill.
A catastrophe that is causing tremendous hardship.
In the Gulf Coast damaging our precious ecosystem.
And one that led to the death of eleven workers who lost their lives in the initial explosion.
Yesterday the federal government gave VP approval to move forward with a procedure known as a -- -- to try to stop the leak.
This involves plugging the well -- densely packed -- to prevent any more oil from escaping.
And given the complexity of this procedure in the depth of the -- this procedure offers no guarantee.
But we're exploring any reasonable strategy is to try and save the gulf.
From a -- that may otherwise last until -- -- 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 -- As far as I'm concerned BP is responsible for this horrific disaster.
And we will hold -- fully accountable on behalf of the United States as well for people and communities victimized by this tragedy.
We will demand whatever they pay every dime they -- for the damage they've done.
And the painful losses that they call.
And we will continue to take full advantage of the unique technology and expertise they have to help stop this -- But make no mistake.
BP is operating at or direction.
Every key decision and action they take it must be approved by -- in advance.
I've been designated admiral Thad Allen who has nearly four decades of experience responding to such disasters.
As the national incident commander.
And if you orders BP to do something to respond to this disaster.
There legally bound to do it.
So for example when they said they would drill one relief well to stand this wait.
We demanded a back up and ordered them to -- to and they are in the process of drilling to.
As we devise strategies to try and stop this week were also relying on brightest minds the most advanced technology in the world.
We're relying on a team of scientists and engineers from our own National Laboratories.
And for many other nations.
The team led by our energy secretary and Nobel Prize winning physicist Stephen -- And were relying on experts who've actually dealt with oil spills from across the goal -- -- this challenge.
The federal government is also directing the effort to contain and clean up the damage from the spill.
Which is now -- largest effort of its kind in US 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.
And I will be discussing this further -- to make my second trip to Louisiana tomorrow.
But so far we have about 20000 people in the region were working around the clock to contain and clean up this -- We have activated about 14100.
Members of the National Guard in four states.
We have the Coast Guard on site we have more than thirteen hundred vessels assisting in the containment and cleanup efforts.
We deployed over three million feet of total -- to stop oil from coming -- And today more than a 100000 feet of boom is being -- to Louisiana parishes that are facing the greatest risk from or.
Will 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 the exception of governor Jim -- -- island proposal.
That could still help stop oil from coming ashore.
They'll be built in an area that it is most at risk -- 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 -- Everyone from fishermen to restaurant -- hotel -- So part of the Small Business Administration has approved loans and allowed many small businesses to defer existing loan payments.
And our insistence BP is paying economic injury points.
And we'll make sure that when all's said and done victims of this disaster will get the relief that they are old.
-- -- -- abandon our fellow services will help them recover and we will help them rebuild.
In the meantime I should also say that Americans can help by continue to visit the communities and beaches of the Gulf Coast.
I was talking to the governors -- just couple of days ago when they want me to remind everybody that except over three beaches in Louisiana.
All of the gulf beaches are open they are safe and they're -- As we continue our response -- Were also moving quickly on steps to ensure that -- 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 -- must be safe.
In recent months I've spoken about.
Of too much.
I've heard people speaking about the dangers of too much government regulation.
And I think we can all acknowledge there 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 met little or no regulation at all.
And sectors fellows are took office.
He found -- minerals and management service.
That had been plagued by corruption for years this -- -- -- -- charged with not only providing permits but also enforcing.
Laws governing oil -- And the corruption was underscored by a recent inspector general's report that covered activity which occurred prior to 2000 -- A report that can only be described as ball.
-- cells are immediately took steps to clean up that corruption.
But this oil spill has made clear that more reforms are needed.
For years there's many scandals -- close relationship between oil companies in the agency that regulates.
That's why we decided to separate the people who permit the growing from those who regulate and ensure the safety of the -- I also announced that no new apartments for drilling new wells will go forward until a thirty -- safety and environmental review was conducted.
That review is now complete.
It's Mitchell 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 so 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 all the coast of Alaska.
We will cancel depending lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico and that the proposed lease sale off the coast of Virginia.
Third we -- him continue the existing moratorium and suspend the issuance.
But new permits to drill new deep water wells for six months.
And for we will suspend action on 33 deep water exploratory wells currently being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico.
It'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.
Under current at all the Interior Department has only thirty days to review and exploration plan submitted by an oil company.
That leaves no time for the appropriate environmental review.
The result there's -- continually wait.
And this is just one example of a law that was tailored by the industry to serve their needs instead of the problems.
Congress needs to address -- efficient -- possible my administration -- work with them to do so.
Preventing such a catastrophe in the future won't require further study and -- report.
That's why last Friday I also signed an executive order establishing the National Commission.
On the VP deep water horizon oil spill and offshore -- 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 -- -- precautions are necessary.
If the laws on our books are inadequate to prevent such as -- Or if we did not enforce those laws but I wanna not.
Wanna know what worked and what didn't work in our response to the disaster.
And -- oversight of the oil and gas in -- free program.
Or make one final point.
More than anything else this economic and environmental tragedy.
And its attractive.
Underscores the urgent need for this nation to develop clean renewable sources of energy.
Doing -- not only reduce threats foreign buyer.
Who create a new home -- American industry that could lead to countless new businesses.
And new jobs.
We talk about doing this for decades.
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 jump start a permanent transition to a clean energy economy.
And there is currently -- in the Senate the plan that was developed with ideas from Democrats and Republicans.
-- 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 -- to realize the future lies and renewable energy.
And it's time to -- their future ourselves.
Like -- Democrats and Republicans in congress working with my administration.
To answer this challenge once and -- -- 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 -- goal has made it enormously difficult to stop.
But we are relying on every resource.
And every -- Every expert and every bit of technology.
To work to stop.
We will take ideas from anywhere but we -- gonna stop.
I know that doesn't -- -- enormous sense of anger and frustration felt by people on the gulf and so many Americans.
Every day I see this we continue I am angry and frustrated as well.
I realize that this entire response effort.
We'll continue to be filtered through the triple prism of politics.
But that's not what I care about right now.
I care about right now is the containment of this disaster in the health and safety and livelihoods of our neighbors in the Gulf Coast.
And for long it takes I intend to use the full force of the federal government to protect our fellow citizens.
In the place where they live.
I can assure you -- that.
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