*Tuesday night President Obama accused BP of “recklessness” in the first Oval Office address of his presidency and swore not to rest until the company has paid for the damage it has caused to lives, businesses, and shorelines.
He announced that he had asked former Mississippi Gov. Ray Mabus to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan-to be funded by BP-in concert with local states, communities, fishermen, conservationists and residents “as soon as possible.”
(Read the full text of his speech here. Scroll down to watch the speech)
Obama did not detail what this plan should include. But he declared to his prime-time television audience, “We will make BP pay.” M
Much of the speech was devoted to a recitation of steps Obama’s government has taken to clean the oil, help the distraught people of the Gulf, and prevent another environmental crisis.
“We will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long it takes,” Obama said. He also emphasized that the US must end its “addiction to fossil fuel.”
Meanwhile, Obama’s showdown at the White House today with BP executives will be his first direct encounter with them since one of their oil wells blew out off the Louisiana coast nearly 60 days ago, killing 11 workers and releasing a so-far unstoppable geyser of oil.
BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg was invited and encouraged to bring other officials; BP chief executive Tony Hayward, the beleaguered face of the BP response, is expected to attend, too.
Watch video of President Obama’s oil spill speech: