Obama Commits To Long-Term Restoration Of Gulf Coast

Fresh from a trip to the Gulf Coast, President Obama addressed the nation Tuesday regarding the BP oil spill, now referred to as the worst environmental disaster in American history.

The President acknowledged that “for decades we’ve known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered,” and that as a nation, our unwillingness to turn away from oil-based energy directly contributed to the unsafe deepwater practices that caused the disaster in the Gulf.

During his speech, Obama referred to the oil spill crisis not as a natural disaster, which often comes and goes in a matter of hours, but as an “epidemic” that the country will be fighting for years to come.

The President also assured the fisherman, hotel owners, and the thousands of others that depend on the water for their livelihoods, that he is committed the Gulf Coast’s recovery, and that BP will pay in full for the environmental devastation it has caused.

To demonstrate his commitment to long-term restoration in the Gulf, the President announced that he has appointed former Mississippi governor and current Secretary to the Navy, Ray Mabus to oversee a new committee that will be responsible for developing a plan to clean-up and protect the area’s delicate marine ecosystems and wildlife.

But other than stating that this plan would be formulated cooperatively by states, communities, tribes, fishermen, and others, the President made no mention of particular restoration tactics that would be employed, or ecosystems that would be given priority.

While a commitment to restoration is important, a committment to ending offshore drilling once and for all is what’s really needed. Unfortunately, that was one promise the President wasn’t willing to make during Tuesday’s speech.

Instead Obama reiterated his six month moratorium on offshore drilling in deep water. He did not, however, mention the fact that he lifted ban on drilling in the Gulf’s shallow water just weeks ago, allowing oil companies to plan new wells just miles from the Louisiana shoreline.

Obviously, a temporary moratorium isn’t enough to worry the world’s major oil companies, but maybe a complete overhaul of the Minerals Management Service (MMS) will be.

As the government agency responsible for granting drilling permits, the MMS should have been working day and night to make sure that safety and the environmental impact of offshore drilling were thoroughly researched.

Instead, the MMS has become, as the President stated, “emblematic” of a failed philosophy which views all regulation in a hostile light. Under newly appointed head Michael Bromwich, however, Obama hopes that the agency will serve as “the oil industry’s watchdog, not it’s partner.”

SIGN THE PETITIONS!

Find full Care2 Coverage of the Spill here.

Like this story? Follow Beth on Twitter or Stumble!

Image Credit: Flickr - Deepwaterhorizonresponse
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Caleb Critchfield.

53 comments

Sir Walk F.
Sir Walk F.5 years ago

@Phoebe says :"I can't help but wonder why it took Pres. Obama so long to respond to this catastrphe in the first place."

You expected him to swim to the bottom of the gulf and plug the hole himself, eh?

johan l.
paul l.6 years ago

Judging from the poll, it looks as only half of America finds his commitments strong enough!
What he should have said of course, is that all off-shore drilling will be prohibited!
He still misjudges the disaster for what it is.
It is not the worst diaster in American history, but the worst disaster globally!

Phoebe Morgan
pj d.6 years ago

I can't help but wonder why it took Pres. Obama so long to respond to this catastrphe in the first place.

Christine T.
Christine T.6 years ago

While it is nice that he stated that BP will pay for the disaster in full, I have to agree with others here and wait to see what really happens; I am inclined not to hold my breath. -.-

Any really, at the end of the day, what does it take to actually convince people THAT DRILLING NEEDS TO STOP? SERIOUSLY. If the worst disaster in American history is not enough to show how bad drilling is for everyone and everything, then I do not know what is. This is pathetic.

Cynthia W.
gone g.6 years ago

Anything less than stopping oil drilling completely is a complete waste of time and I am sick of Obama and all the idiots thinking they are pacifying us. Stop blowing smoke up our fanny and do something that will actually matter. Do it now while there's still time and life on this planet.

Ralph X.
JustaHuman Here6 years ago

Let's wait and see.......................I see nothing...................I'm waiting.................I hope nature has the same patience............gone waiting........

Mrs Shakespeare
Mrs Shakespeare6 years ago

I dont know about you, but I stopped believeing this man a long time ago. Even when it comes to international affairs, he talks too much and does nothing.

Sue L.
michelle t.6 years ago

crap.I'm disgusted

bob m.
bob m.6 years ago

Wow; every time I hear the rage at BP; I want to laugh.
We have been dedicated to these "accidents" happening DAILY
for a hundred years now
WE love Speed, noise, smoke, dirty dead streets covered in oil and concrete WE worship the Gods of Daytona, the car,
and hundreds more habits that produce death.
Have a look in the mirror (me too).

Alissa H.
Alissa H.6 years ago

why is obama taking action now and not on the first 10 or 15 days i mean really why act now i i bet my cousin that it wont be until around day 80 before they accually takre action and fix it