Obama asserts authority over the Gulf of Mexico

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Obama asserts authority over the Gulf of Mexico

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After his fourth visit to the Gulf of Mexico, a televised address to the nation and a scheduled meeting with BP officials, all in less than a week, Barack Obama seems to be trying to make up for lost time over the Gulf of Mexico oil leak.

The Oval Office symbolism is clear. The presidential televised address is a format reserved for national emergencies.

“Make no mistake. We will fight this spill with everything we have got for as long as it takes. we will make BP pay for the damage that the company has caused. The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and the powerful reminder yet that time to embrace the clean energy future is now.”

As well as vowing to make BP pay, Obama also raised the prospect of legislation to break the US reliance on reserves of fossil fuels.

Scientists now think up to ten million litres of crude a day could be pouring from the ruptured well.

Oil industry executives told Congress yesterday that BP had not adhered to industry standards in building the rig that blew in April.

The spill has so far soiled more than 100 kilometres of coastline.