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Oil Spill: Obama Tells Gulf Residents 'You Will Not Be Abandoned'

5 years ago
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During a second trip this month to areas along the Gulf affected by the disastrous oil spill, President Obama toured beaches sticky with crude, was briefed on efforts to cap the flowing well, and reassured residents that the clean up is the government's "highest priority and it deserves a response that is equal to the task."

"I'm here to tell you that you are not alone, you will not be abandoned, you will not be left behind," Obama said during a speech Friday at a Coast Guard station in Grande Isle, La. "The media may get tired of the story, but we will not. We will be on your side and we will see this through."

The president announced the National Guard was deploying about 1,400 members in four states to join the 20,000 people already working to contain and clean up the spill. He said 1,4000 boats are in the gulf unloading millions of feet of hard and sorbent boom, the rope-like materials that float on the water to contain the crude and keep it off shore.

The speech was intended to show empathy for the beleaguered residents of the Gulf and showcase Obama's leadership and the strong federal response to the crisis.

"I ultimately take responsibility for solving this crisis," Obama said. "I am 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."

Obama said because the situation in the Gulf is unprecedented, patience will be required as experts try to figure out the best way to cap the well and clean up the water.

"There are going to be a lot of judgment calls here. There are not going to be silver bullets or perfect answers," he said.

The president met with Coast Guard officials, local leaders and the governors of Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana.

Obama called on volunteers to come join the cleanup effort and for tourists to spend money in the region.

"One of the most powerful ways you can help the Gulf right now is to visit the coast," the president said. "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."

Read the president's full speech here.

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melvin polatnick

Spokesmen for BP are disappointed that all efforts to plug the leak have failed. Only a second well will channel the oil, but it cannot be completed for at least 90 days. This is bad news, but the Government can come to the rescue by financially supporting those that have lost their income. Things will eventually return to normal, wildlife will be the main losers, they cannot be compensated for the loss of their loved ones.

May 29 2010 at 8:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes, gulf states know they won't be abandoned.
They have governors who will stay on the Feds like white on rice
you GOT to love Jindal and Halley Barber,
Also they sense when the congress changes over this will be addressed and Not JUST A

May 29 2010 at 7:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Why did James Carrville rant & rave about the oil spill so much? When Katrina happened & there were bodies in the streets-and people on rooftops needing food & water- I didn't hear him making a fuss then!

May 29 2010 at 1:40 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Who cares if he's there or not? He's right in one way, the best thing people can do right now is get down there and use the beaches that are open and support those communities. I'm much more concerned with his changing our National Security Doctrine. That should concern everyone.

May 29 2010 at 12:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

To take ultimate responsibility is a very nice political thing to say....But where was Obama when the people in Louisiana were begging for some kind of assistance from the President?.....Obama's slow reaction to this Oil Leak disaster could become Obama's Katrina problem

May 29 2010 at 7:59 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

Five weeks after the oil spill, when BP is finally getting something done that might work, Obama shows his face to claim he will solve the problem.

May 28 2010 at 9:35 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

What is disheartening is everyone in the Mineral Management Service who accepted "Gifts", a.k.a. "Bribes", have not had criminal charges filed against them. Even worse they haven't even been fired, and stripped of the pensions. What if the IRS employees were taking "Gifts" from those they audit? What if the SEC employees were taking "Gifts" from Wall Street firms? What if those who work for Social Security or the FBI started accepting "Gifts". This is a HUGE serious issue that our elected officials aren't really addressing, and the American people have taken notice. The whole entity of our government, not just our elected officials, are now in question. Let's be honest, this epic man made disaster in the end was caused by greed. Showmanship and cover-ups will not distract nor hide the truth.

May 28 2010 at 9:17 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply

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