June 14, 2010

Obama aims for BP deal this week on funds for oil victims

Posted: 08:00 PM ET


President Obama arrived in Gulfport, Mississippi, on Monday, his first stop on a two-day tour of the states most affected by the oil disaster.

The trip marks his fourth visit to the Gulf Coast since the oil began to gush nearly two months ago.

The president, who was met at the airport by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, will also visit Alabama and Florida as he tries to get a better picture of the efforts to contain the spill. Obama's previous trips have been limited to Louisiana.

Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the administration's point person in the region, briefed Obama shortly after his arrival.

At the end of the briefing, Obama encouraged tourists to not cancel plans to vacation in the region.

"There's still a lot of opportunity for visitors to come down here - a lot of beaches that are not yet affected or will not be affected," Obama said.

"One of the best ways to help is to come down here and enjoy the outstanding hospitality," the president said.

After meeting with local residents, Obama is expected to tour the water for the first time since the disaster, traveling by ferry from Dauphin Island to Fort Morgan in Alabama.

The president, who canceled a trip to Indonesia and Australia, has faced criticism that he hasn't been fully engaged in the crisis.

(Read more)

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill

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B.Bernsten   June 14th, 2010 8:35 pm ET

Why isn't there a sense of urgency w/regard to the tropical storms starting to develop off the West African coast? If a tropical storm (small hurricane) hits the Gulf, all the work that has been done to date to prevent the oil from coming ashore, will be in vain. One storm is in route NOW.

Where's the news coverage? You will not mention until it's too late, then you call it "BREAKING NEWS!"

Prepare America, BP and America for it NOW, rather than reporting the storm after the fact.

William   June 14th, 2010 8:40 pm ET

Hey Obama, Instead of acting like a tough guy and all your media PR, why don't you try to find a solution? Instead of telling BP to stop the leak which I don't think they can and time is a wasting, why don't you get all the brightest and smartest scientists and engineers you can find and get the leak stopped ASAP? If someone like Keven Costner has a good idea, let him try instead of wasting time with red tape.

steve   June 14th, 2010 8:51 pm ET

FUNDS FOR OIL VICTIMS?? What about the millions of sea life and animals that will be showing up DEAD, or covered in oil!!!!!!!! This is the worst disaster that has ever happened!! MORE needs to be done by the US & CANADIAN governments to save and help these animals that are the inicent victims that are suffering from our greed!!!
Screw you BP OIL....

steve   June 14th, 2010 8:58 pm ET

OBAMA....Here's a tip for you...get the oil STOPPED from leaking into the gulf of mexico !!! STOP stalling and doing the proper PR thing for your image and reputation!! HELP the inicent animals and sea life that are washing ashore DEAD, COVERED IN OIL !!


Dodie   June 14th, 2010 9:02 pm ET

@ Steve

Beautifullty said! I could not have articulated that any better than you have.

Yes, what about the millions of animals who have perished in the eco-system which is no longer..... due to human neglance and greed! How much more mass killing will we continue to do???

Dodie   June 14th, 2010 9:07 pm ET

@ steve

I believe President Obama is doing all he can. The government does not have experience in this area. The people who have the experience are there now.

The problem rests when Cheney deregulated oil drilling back in 2003. This is why we are in the miss now!!!

Charles   June 14th, 2010 9:20 pm ET

In no way is Obama doing all that he can. He is the President; he's too worried about lifting the liability caps than he is about lifting the fact that FEMA is for natural emergencies and getting them to work down there. How ridiculous for a president to be seen saying "I can't suck it up with a straw." He's either pointing fingers or defending himself; what about that makes for a leader????

It's time to let go of Bush and Cheney. I don't recall either of them saying we could not drill near the shores; I believe we can credit another cult with that. Well we didn't drill near the shores, and consequently we had to drill so deep that we now have a problem.

To say Obama is dong all that he can by his waiting for BP to do the clean up instead of just getting busy with the clean up cannot be considered anything except someone being unable to find a fault with their party. There is plenty of blame to go around. Every word spoken on the subject of blame is another word not spoken on cleaning up the oil.

Smith in Oregon   June 14th, 2010 9:23 pm ET

Although the true real costs to the American taxpayers could total 200 BILLION dollars, I rather doubt BP is going to pony up 20 Billion dollars into a escrow account and given the current Gas and Oil federal laws, President Obama must know there is no legal standing to legally force BP to do that. All he can do is sit down with BP's attorneys and work out some mutual agreement.

And there is the nonsense of nationally divesting BP of all its current and future US federal US Oil leases. RIGHT, yet another populist pipe-dream being floated out of someone's bathroom.

The horrific Republican administration of Bush-Cheney oversaw BP obtaining the SOLE contract to supply fuel to the US Military around the world. Folks should realize that the US Military gulps up an enormous amount of fuel every single day of all kinds, bunker fuel, jet fuel, diesel fuel, gasoline etc. And the US Govt. isn't going to kick BP down the road and place serious fuel shortages upon the US Military in the process! It is not going to happen.

Former vice president Dick Cheney met Big Oil corporate leaders including BP in secret backdoor meetings for 100 Days! Undoubtedly special favors, contracts and assurances were routinely handed out by Big Oil's Bush sr., Bush jr. and Dick Cheney during their terrible terms in America's public service

Smith in Oregon   June 14th, 2010 9:45 pm ET

Despite entire species of fish disappearing in the Gulf of Mexico, dead birds, mammals, turtles and sea-life washing up on the shorelines, BP bought nutritionists are already hitting the web and airwaves telling seafood consumers how good and healthy seafood is even when it is contaminated!

Folks, consider what is killing off all the sea-life in that enormous region is not in any fashion nor measure safe for you or your children to eat!

Soon, commercial fishery's will certainly join in the massive ad campaign and buy MD's, various pseudo scientists who will pour 'Eat Louisiana shrimp, crab, oysters and blue-fin tuna' ad's over and over again in a crass and utterly callous attempt to steer American's into eating their contaminated produce, regardless if it's literally dripping with 40 weight motor oil or not!

Stomach and Colon cancers will likely spike among those that consume there contaminated seafood, many cats and dogs that eat that contaminated seafood will also likely suffer similar diseases.

American's should pause and think about future consumption of seafood from Oceans that were already heavily contaminated with Mercury, Cadmium, Lead and pesticides. Oceans that are greatly over-fished by increasingly greedy commercial fishing corporations, Oceans that are missing an enormous number of species of fish that once thrived and help feed the world's population, now gone forever.

Dodie   June 14th, 2010 11:09 pm ET

@ Charles

I would recommend you get your facts straight! Our government has no idea how to solve this problem. We should NOT be drilling off shore to begin with! Since it is already done, no use discussing that. However, in 2003 with the deregulation of Oil, drilling was allowed fewer checks and balances; hence, this mess!!

And those who are now Whining for the government to do something were whining a couple of months ago to downsize the government! So you have to make up your minds!!! What happened to your buddy "Drill baby Drill" I have noticed she is very quiet these days.....

Your idea of FEMA is delusional!!!! FEMA is NOT trained for this type of work. They are primarily trained for natural disasters... fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and now terrorists...There is NO training for a catastrophe of this magnitude or type!!! That is why President Obama is somewhat at a stand still. There is NO government specifically trained for this. The best people in the business are "oil" people who have had previous experience like the Exxon Valdez or the horrible spill in the Arabic gulf. They are currently working on solving this problem! With atmospheric pressures at 5,000 feet not to mention many other complications that I am not privy too....

What I hope for, above anything else, is that we NEVER forget this catastrophe and make major changes in all of our lives!!!!! Even without this horrible oil spill, the burning of fossil fuels is creating lasting toxins throughout the entire planet! The corporate greed in controlling the world's natural resources will be our demise! As a species, we are not the brightest light in the sky!

Dave Jackson   June 15th, 2010 12:51 am ET

WHY aren't we focusing on how to actually STOP the spill?

BP & Washington's focus seems to be on collecting the spilled oil (presumably so BP can capitalize from the oil)

The STOP the leak solution: Use the tool that was used to cut off the valve (ie., a big crimper / cutter). Go upstream of the valve (towards the earth's penetration) & use the crimper / cutter to crimp the pipe in several places (don't apply enuf pressure to cut!) Kinda like squeezing off the flow on your garden hose.

WHY hasn't this been tried??? Probable because BP would then have to re-drill at a new site!

Smith in Oregon   June 15th, 2010 1:50 am ET

@ Dave Jackson, normally I would agree that carefully downsizing the drill pipe casing or even downsizing (leading to a long fully crimped section) the BOP riser originally would possibly lead to a solution to this vexing problem. However, Cameron's team of experts placed the outflow at 13,000 PSI which is likely the maximum limit on the drill casing pipe itself. It's entirely likely a long crimped section would be over fatigued and blow off that section.

In fairness, they should have IMO tried that option carefully using several downward sized hydraulic dies on the BOP riser pipe PRIOR to cutting it off right above the BOP unit.

Cajazz76:24:8   June 15th, 2010 3:01 am ET

@Dave Jackson

It is not as easy as using a crimping tool on your garden hose when sealing pressures above 3000 psi and the extreme pressures at 5000ft. If you suddenly shut off the flow you would have tubular steel shooting out of the floor in the gulf, the possibility of blowouts over the surface around the well area, and the crimping tool is a shear and would cut the pipe as it crimped it, and more reasons than I can give you. Of all the research done and valid formulated opinions BP, like them or not, are taking the correct action. BP is currently drilling 2 new sites, one as a backup at the behest of the U.S. government, and the other to intersect into the well bore and redirect the flow to a new B.O.P. upward. Not easy or quick and the disaster stage will not become aftermath until the flow is stopped. It is as bad as it gets for the gulf coast and all the creatures, including mankind. I just hope BP stays in business for a long, long time and is very profitable. The 80 billion dollars in stock sold off last week doesn't do anything but hurt those than can be financially compensated and less for the wildlife. BP needs to stay in business and remain solvent and profitable a long time for them to make reparations for the disaster they created, and unless you want your tax dollars paying for it all, wish them success. BP is responsible, no doubt, let their assets pay for their failures.

Smith in Oregon   June 15th, 2010 4:25 am ET

@ Dodie, indeed the Republican deregulation of the Oil and Gas industry directly brought on the Oil gushing spill in the Gulf of Mexico, sans any federal environmental impact study, sans any federal emergency contingency plan it was like Dick Cheney was operating in the Wild West removing all reasonable checks and balances.

@ Dodie, you are absolutely correct in asking a previous blogger Republican-Tea party supporter which is it, they wanted to first limit Federal Govt. (resulting in the Oil spill) and now the same wing-nuts are demanding President Obama to expand Govt. in order to deal with the resulting foobar that Cheney's deregulation created?!!

Many of America's pet's died directly as a result of Bush-Cheney gutting EPA and FDA food inspectors, many animals died a cruel chemically induced death and many children were poisoned with lead painted toys. That aptly proved that American corporations cannot self-police themselves and need strict federal regulations and strict environmental guidelines which protect all American citizens.

lostemperor   June 15th, 2010 6:36 am ET

BP ignored all rules. They were heading for a disaster sooner or later. After the spill they try to cover up as much as possible. Facts that is, not oil. They are a more dangerous organisation than Al Qeada. For human lifes and this planet where we are part of.

King   June 15th, 2010 7:27 am ET

I am very sad for the animals/ plants and people affected/ damaged by this disaster. On the other hand, I find Obama's recent PR very cheap. His government should moniter and understand what BP is doing, but at the cost of pulling BP legs is bad. I am a little sorry for the pensioner who has invested in BP...Maybe the Amercians need a drama with victims, bad guys, heros,... to get involve in their national affairs. I think Obama should work with BP for the sake of getting things done. Well, if his people cannot understand him, what cost should he make to safe himself?

Idzan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   June 15th, 2010 9:36 am ET

I really pray Kevin Costner's oil spill clean-up machine can do the job.
BP must buy it fast and start the cleaning up.
I am sure America is not short of scientists who can come out with other equipments as well.
May God help America.

Tim Keaton   June 15th, 2010 9:56 am ET

I would like to see b.p try to run a packer on 18 inche pipe put a vavle on top but leave it open till they set packer and cement it when it set up close vavle if this will not work please let me know and somebody explain to me why

Charles   June 15th, 2010 10:26 am ET

Your comments are very confusing. No one is asking the government to downsize or expand. In this situation no one is asking the government to spend more or to spend less. It would not be expected that the government is an expert on fixing an oil spill. It would be a sad day, however, if the government can't bring an end to both a federal and local official having to be on any boat that rescues a bird. Do you feel that is a good thing, Dodie? Do you feel Obama and the Governor could not take care of that immediately? Although not experts in oil, you don't think the government could orchestrate a better clean up? Why the love affair with your current administration? I would have thought you were something other than brainwashed and could see the positives and negatives in all administrations. And you are proud that the President says "I can't suck it up with a straw?"
I find fault with both Bush and Obama, but I will say I did not hear Bush blaming someone from the previous administration daily (he did walk into a market crash that occurred under Clinton) nor did I hear him always talking about what he could not do.

Charles   June 15th, 2010 10:32 am ET

@A-- Smith in Oregon,
Sorry, little one, I am not a Republican nor do I belong to the tea party. How uninformed is it that because someone feels the government has not handled the oil spill as best they could have it means they want the government to expand.
As someone else pointed out, some here cannot accept a comment that differs from his/her opinion without attacking. (And before someone posts the typical response of "who is attacking now;" yes, go ahead and call it an attack if you like.)

Nick Mangan   June 15th, 2010 10:51 am ET

As a British national living in the UK I am dismayed and appauled at BP's response to this disaster. This is without doubt one of the most serious ecological disasters in the history of man-kind, the effects of which will be felt for years and possibly decades to come.

However, the response from certain parts of the US Federal government appears to be "British Bashing". Even now, watching the opening statements of the congressional hearing, BP is being incorrectly called British Petroleum. This demostrates ignorance and lack of understanding. If certain members of the committee cannot get a company name right, what will the outcome be?

The President's use of the phrase "looking for someone's a$$ to kick" demonstrates a lack of authenticity. It would appear that the US government has a short memory, less we forget the 2800 victims of the Union Carbide disaster in India in 1984, who's American CEO, Warren Andersen, alledgedly knew of safety issues two years before the disaster and later fled the country, never to return.

Lets play by the same rules...

alex steenkist   June 15th, 2010 11:57 am ET

i have become so depressed over the gulf oil spill Can i sue BP. for this?

keepingitonethousand   June 15th, 2010 12:40 pm ET

Valuable information!

IKHAN   June 15th, 2010 1:06 pm ET

Hi Larry,
Hi folks.
The enormity of this disaster is expanding , the focus now has shifted to the clean up & compensation from stemming the flow. Is that a sign that BP is giving up?

@Nick Mangan
you are right in reminding us Americans of the Union Carbide disaster & its shameful aftermath. Alas we are not used to looking down at ourselves, its not in our psyche. We have to find faults, demons & bogeymen elsewhere.
Having said that in this case BP's culpability cannot & should not be overlooked. Our admn has to keep after them,' British Bashing' or not.
@Nana Brown
Bravo to that.
Unfortunately for this great nation of ours & despite the outcries of thousands of brave & upstanding Jews in America & Israel, our policies are not going to change. Our slavish ties to the regimes (not the people of Israel) have resulted in our getting deeper into a quagmire of problems.
Not only Pat Buchanan but read & listen to Sheldon Richman, Uri Avnery,Naom Chomsky & many other respected & learned Jews.

Chere   June 15th, 2010 1:45 pm ET

I think you make some good comments. President Obama's "kick ass" comment was in response to many feeling he seemed too aloof. To purposely use such a phrase in an attempt to appear angry about the situation really was not smart politics as intended because, to your point, it wasn't real. Thus it really accomplished nothing.

Smith in Oregon   June 15th, 2010 5:50 pm ET

BP is 'floating' that they are on tap to now suction 2 MILLION gallons from the Oil Gusher PER DAY next month (July). That would mean the spill is over 50,000 barrels (2 MILLION) per day as they can't redirect 100% of the Oil gushing out!

Republican lawmakers are 'floating' PR statements that drilling technology will prevent this Oil gusher from ever occurring again, making it impossible to ever happen. So Drill baby Drill!!! Talking about insanity, deep water extremely high pressure zones are going to result in drilling blowouts and further Oil gushers. The only guarantee to make this impossible would be for America to STOP DEEP WATER OIL DRILLING anywhere in it's territorial waters.

Last night I saw a large pressure gauge attached to the BOP next to the Oil gusher from one of the ROV Gusher Cams. The streaming video quality wasn't good enough to accurately see the numbers on that gauge however it does appear that BP now knows precisely how much Oil has been gushing out into the once pristine Gulf of Mexico.

@ charles you wrote, 'How uninformed is it that because someone feels the government has not handled the oil spill as best they could have it means they want the government to expand'.

Expanding governmental oversight and actions on dealing with existing Oil and Gas laws which severely limit Big Oil liabilitys and penalitys so that the Big Oil liability cap could be lifted, ships around the world to skim the oil could be leased and a escrow fund set up are all needed along with the time to prove to BP's teams of attorneys that there is enough evidence of gross neglect of safety regulations leading to this Oil well blowout that places BP over the barrel and will force BP to pony up the funds.

Unlike Bush-Cheney, President Obama is NOT going to rob the funds from the Social Security coffer to pay for this Big Oil mistake which it appears Bush-Cheney did to help fund both wars.

Tankers and skimmers cost 500,000 dollars per DAY. Unlike Bush-Cheney's approach, President Obama doesn't want the American taxpayers to pay for dealing with BP's mistake. And he has been proceeding quickly as various agreements have been met with BP's attorneys. 56 days not soon enough for you charles? And 19 years under three Republican administrations to have Exxon pony up liability costs for the Exxon Valdez spill was fine with you before? Huh?

Jay b   June 15th, 2010 5:55 pm ET

The tea bagging ,drill baby drill, people are now depending on Obama to stop the leak. they have already forgiven BP,it's now Obama's fault.

Angela Savage Austin   June 15th, 2010 6:17 pm ET

GOD'S PERFECT WILL...Did you know the shortest Chapter in the Bible is Psalms 117; The longest Chapter is Psalms 119; The center Chapter is Psalms 118; There are 594 Chapters before the center Chapter Psalms 118 and 594 Chapters after the center Chapter Psalms 118; Add the numbers of the Chapters before and after, together, you get 1188. The center Verse in the center Chapter Psalms 118 is Psalms 118:8>"It is better to trust in the Lord, then to put confidence in Man" GOD IS AT THE CENTER OF ALL CREATION! Be not of a broken spirit...out of order with God's Perfect Will. God so loved Mankind that He gave us Jesus. That is why Love makes the world go round. Love is Life!
God Bless!

Hugh in California   June 15th, 2010 6:49 pm ET

You folks who think President Obama isn't doing all he can are just a bunch of idiots, and I've got no patience with your responses. The oil industry is to blame, not the American government, not the democrats, not the President, - the Oil Industry! Stop the BS!
One of reasons for this disaster is due to the voters who elect politicians who keep complaining about over-regulation. This is a direct result of that kind of mind-numbing mentality! Get a brain.

Hugh in California   June 15th, 2010 6:50 pm ET

You may be neither a republican nor a tea-party member, just an idiot!

mary schacht   June 15th, 2010 9:01 pm ET

Wolf and my other mentors at CNN.

BP only cares about the oil, therefore kick them out of the gulf.
(BP will work hard to pay to get back in favor) They want to pay cuzz they care about oil & money
Confiscate all BP assets, exec. bonus, stock, property, to pay for the fixes
Move in every other oil company for advice, tell them if they don't find a fix, they may find themselves out too.
Obama move to the gulf coast, so we can see you understand their pain, take with you experts in wildlife, corp of army engineers, to get a plan for putting back the natural barriers. Audobon, woodshole,greenpeace.
Nationalize the oil companies
Set up a NASA for environmental matters, global warming, hurricane and other disaster plan, so we know what to do before it hits.

Lead Obama, this ain't no dance, where if two lead, you just get sore toes, You have folks like Cosner who have worked out plans T.B. Pickins

mary in Oregon
You're in our prays citizens of the Gulf coast!

Mary Scheidler   June 15th, 2010 9:09 pm ET

Obama should act like a president instead of a politician. He could wipe out all the obstacles hindering the clean up and call navy, coast guard, unemployed Americans, other country's offers of help. All hands on deck. This is AN EMERGENCY.!! Get the clean up effort moving Mr. President. Stop the stupidness.

Smith in Oregon   June 16th, 2010 1:13 am ET

Sharon Angle referring to the 2nd Amendment to change the Federal Government strongly suggests a armed rebellion to overthrow the government. Other than Sharon being some psycho wing-nut, She is the GOP Republican choice to run against US Senator Harry Reid of Nevada!

This surge of the New Right of racist, bigoted extremists appears to be another step earlier taken by the Republican-Tea Potty darling Sarah Palin who previously placed sniper rifle cross hairs on various Democratic lawmakers who are pro-choice.

No way and no how would Bush-Cheney have put up with some wing-nut toting a hunting rifle to any of their public speeches. That person would be extremely lucky to not be immediately shot dead by a blackwater sniper working for Bush-Cheney who routinely traveled with both of them on the campaign trail, and yet these New Right extremists scream and yell about President Obama's gun rights?

Calling for the armed and violent deaths of political figures is not only treasonous behavior, it is utterly illegal and certainly not protected under free speech amendments. And yet it appears the New Right extremists are calling for that and Republican candidates are ALSO calling for that!

For decades the Republican party has played the Fear Card to control their members and force themselves into elected positions. I believe Americans as a whole are sick and tired of that old Republican ploy and favored chestnut.

When Republican candidates call upon their audiences to overthrow the current government thru violent use of weapons and to murder existing Democratic lawmakers, I and American citizens fully expect the self-righteous Sheriff's across America to fully apply the law they were ordered to support and arrest them for treason and threats against governmental officials.

Yes, those self-righteous Sheriff's that go after new born illegal immigrate parents and Olympic swimmers that smoked pot. Do something useful and arrest these Republican New Right extremist candidates who are spouting that hate speech which is clearly AGAINST THE LAW and TREASONOUS.

Dodie   June 16th, 2010 4:23 am ET

@ Charles

You have a skilled method of misdirecting and belittling others on this site. The bottom line is the spewing oil must be plugged. BP is responsible for the mess. Not the Government...Only BP!! I cannot make that any clearer since you seem to have a problem with confusion. What you are talking about is fruitless. As long as the oil continues to expel out into the gulf.

Mike Houston   June 16th, 2010 5:31 am ET

The 'scientists' that the government seems to keep relying on continually fail to define the oil flow they are trying to estimate. Some questions for them:

1. What is your best single number for the discharge immediately after the Deepwater Horizon sank? ___________ barrels/day (bpd)? Do not include liquified gas for the 5000 foot estimate.

So, you and the government first said 1000 bpd. Is this the flow you were talking about?

2. Similarly, your best estimate for the flow right after the riser was removed from the BOP top? ___________ bpd.

3. Similarly, for the amount of oil bypassing the cap right after it went on? ____________ bpd.

4. And your estimate for the total volume released to the Gulf surface so far? ____________ bpd.

5. Right now Anderson Cooper, CNN TV, is saying 60,000 bpd so that must be your current estimate of oil escaping to the surface. I do not believe you! It should be much lower. I have provided some figures on other discussion boards.

6. A post today elsewhere said that flow from the top of the BOP has likely increased due to erosion of the restricting area inside the BOP. This sounds reasonable.

'Scientists", Associated Press, CNN, MSNBC, others – Tell us the timing and location of flows you are talking about!

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