The BP oil spill “is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced,” President Obama said during a speech from the Oval Office.
“The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years,” the president said.
Obama said he plans to meet with BP’s chairman and tell him that the company “is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company’s recklessness.”
“We will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long as it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused,” Obama said. “And we will do whatever’s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.”
Critics, however, say the president and Democrats are using the BP oil spill to push an agenda, including a national energy tax, that won’t help stop spills such as the BP disaster, from happening.
“Lives have already been lost, livelihoods are in danger, and our coastlines face terrible long-term damage,” U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., said in a statement release prior to Obama’s speech. “The people and policies responsible for this tragedy must be held to account, but our focus must first be on stopping this spill and cleaning up the oil as quickly as possible.
“We have already heard that Democrats see this tragedy as an opportunity to push an economically disastrous national energy tax,” Price said. “The White House should not use this type of environmental catastrophe for political purposes as it used the economic crisis to push through a bloated and ineffective stimulus package last year.”