Obama vows to restore Gulf Coast

2011-04-20 14:06
Washington - President Barack Obama on Wednesday vowed to do "whatever is necessary" to restore the Gulf Coast on the anniversary of the BP rig explosion, which caused the worst maritime oil spill in US history.

"The events that unfolded on April 20 2010 and the oil spill that followed underscores the critical link between the environment and economic health of the Gulf," Obama said in a statement.

"My administration is committed to doing whatever is necessary to protect and restore the Gulf Coast."

One year ago an explosion and fire on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 workers and destroyed the platform, eventually causing about 4.9 million barrels of oil to gush into the Gulf of Mexico.

The oil spewed into the ocean for three months before the well was capped and had a devastating impact on Gulf Coast residents, the local ecosystem and the region's vital tourism and fishing industries.

Obama vowed to "hold BP and other responsible parties fully accountable for the damage they've done and the painful losses that they've caused".

48 000-strong team

But his remarks emphasised the continuing recovery efforts, saying that about 2 000 "responders" are still taking part in the clean-up.

"From the beginning, my administration brought every available resource to bear, amassing the largest oil spill response in our nation's history.

"At the height of the response, approximately 48 000 men and women worked tirelessly to mitigate the worst impacts of the spill. While we've made significant progress, the job isn't done."

The spill was 19 times larger than that caused by the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker disaster, and is surpassed only by a 1910 gusher in California and deliberate releases by Iraqi troops during the 1991 Gulf War.

BP took a $40.9bn loss in 2010 related to the spill, including $13.6bn for the initial response.

It has set up a $20bn trust fund to cover compensation claims from fishermen and others affected by the spill but said in its annual report that it cannot estimate how much it will eventually have to pay out.

Compensation slow

The energy giant also faces massive fines and penalties from the US government and will be responsible for repairing the environmental damage.

BP hopes to recover a significant portion of the cost from its well ownership partners and from subcontractors Transocean, which ran the drilling rig, and Halliburton, which was responsible for the well's flawed cement job.

Local residents have meanwhile complained about the slow pace of compensation from the disaster, which saw a third of the Gulf's rich waters closed to fishing and scared off tourists.

They also fear that the spill - and the nearly eight million litres of chemical dispersants used to keep the oil from reaching shore - will cause long-term damage to the balance of life in the Gulf.

They point to the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez spill, when Alaska's herring fisheries appeared healthy for the first few years, then collapsed from disease and still have not recovered.

Read more on:    bp  |  barack obama  |  us  |  us oil slick
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Spontaneity and bright ideas are emphasized today but there is a tendency to be too impulsive and you may want to keep a handle on...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.