As the clean up continues, we will offer whatever additional
resources and assistance our coastal states may need. Now, a
mobilization of this speed and magnitude will never be perfect, and new
challenges will always arise. I saw and heard evidence of that during
this trip. So if something isn’t working, we want to hear about it. If
there are problems in the operation, we will fix them.
p>But we have to recognize that despite our best efforts, oil has
already caused damage to our coastline and its wildlife. And sadly, no
matter how effective our response becomes, there will be more oil and
more damage before this siege is done. That’s why the second thing
we’re focused on is the recovery and restoration of the Gulf Coast.
p>You know, for generations, men and women who call this region home
have made their living from the water. That living is now in jeopardy.
I’ve talked to shrimpers and fishermen who don’t know how they’re going
to support their families this year. I’ve seen empty docks and
restaurants with fewer customers – even in areas where the beaches are
not yet affected. I’ve talked to owners of shops and hotels who wonder
when the tourists will start to come back. The sadness and anger they
feel is not just about the money they’ve lost. It’s about a wrenching
anxiety that their way of life may be lost.
p>I refuse to let that happen. Tomorrow, I will meet with the chairman
of BP and inform him that he 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. And this fund will
not be controlled by BP. In order to ensure that all legitimate claims
are paid out in a fair and timely manner, the account must and will be
administered by an independent, third party.
p>Beyond compensating the people of the Gulf in the short-term, it’s
also clear we need a long-term plan to restore the unique beauty and
bounty of this region. The oil spill represents just the latest blow to
a place that has already suffered multiple economic disasters and
decades of environmental degradation that has led to disappearing
wetlands and habitats. And the region still hasn’t recovered from
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. That’s why we must make a commitment to
the Gulf Coast that goes beyond responding to the crisis of the moment.
p>I make that commitment tonight. Earlier, I asked Ray Mabus, the
Secretary of the Navy, a former governor of Mississippi, and a son of
the Gulf, to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan as soon as
possible. The plan will be designed by states, local communities,
tribes, fishermen, businesses, conservationists, and other Gulf
residents. And BP will pay for the impact this spill has had on the
Well, now that he’s smited BP from the Sacred Oval Office Chair or something, the noise machine’s carping about his temperament or his temperature or whatever the fuck they’re on about can stop. It’ll stop, right, and we’ll go back to focusing on if he’s doing his job right, as opposed to doing it in the right color tie?