Oil Spill Update from the American Government
President Obama Visits Alabama, Florida and Mississippi US Coast Guard
In a visit that encompassed three states-Alabama, Florida and Mississippi-the President made his fourth trip to the Gulf Coast to assess the ongoing efforts to counter the BP oil spill.The President met with officials directing the response effort and local residents and business people affected by the spill; observed shoreline impacts firsthand on a boat tour; and visited a response staging facility in Theodore, Ala.-where he reiterated his administration's commitment to a strong, sustained response to one of the worst environmental disasters in our nation's history.In his remarks, the President conceded that he could not promise that the oil would be cleaned up overnight, adding: "But I promise you this: that things are going to return to normal. This region that's known a lot of hardship will bounce back-just like it's bounced back before. We are going to do everything we can, 24/7, to make sure that communities get back on their feet. And in the end, I am confident that we're going to be able to leave the Gulf Coast in better shape than it was before." Click here
for a full transcript.
The President Announces Members of His Commission to Ensure Safety and Responsibility in Oil and Gas Development
The President announced members of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling-Frances G. Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Donald Boesch, President of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; Terry D. Garcia, Executive Vice President for Mission Programs for the National Geographic Society; Cherry A. Murray, Dean of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; and Frances Ulmer, Chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage. Click here
for complete biographies.The bipartisan Commission, established through an Executive Order, is tasked with providing recommendations on how we can prevent-and mitigate the impact of-any future spills that result from offshore drilling. The Council is co-chaired by former two-term Florida Governor and former U.S. Senator Bob Graham and former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency William K. Reilly.
Rear Admiral Watson Responds to BP's Latest Containment Strategies
Federal On-Scene Coordinator Rear Admiral James Watson today responded to BP's latest containment strategies. On Friday, Watson sent a letter to BP-directing the company to devise a more aggressive plan to build greater capacity and redundancy for oil containment.After being directed to move more quickly, BP is now stepping up its efforts to contain the leaking oil. They have now outlined a path to contain the more than the full upper end of the current per-day flow estimate by the end of June using additional strategies that weren't contained in their original plan. Their revised plan also includes methods to achieve even greater redundancy beyond the month of June, to better allow for bad weather or unforeseen circumstances. We have continuously demanded strategies and responses from BP that fit the realities of this catastrophic event, for which they are responsible. The administration will continue to hold them accountable and bring every possible resource and innovation to bear.
Foreign Countries and International Organizations Contribute to Response Efforts
To date, the administration has leveraged assets and skills from numerous foreign countries and international organizations as part of this historic, all-hands-on-deck response, including Canada, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, the United Nations' International Maritime Organization and the European Union's Monitoring and Information Centre.The Unified Command continues to look at all available options for assistance as we continue to fight BP's oil from impacting our shores and our communities. Assistance provided to date includes containment and sorbent boom, skimmers and containment vessels, and engineers and scientists with vital experience in oil spill cleanup operations.
Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpass $3.8 Million
SBA has approved 63 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $3.8 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 377 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $1.65 per month in payments. For information on assistance loans for affected businesses, visit the SBA's Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance
, call (800) 659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Administration Continues to Oversee BP's Claims Process
The administration will continue to hold the responsible parties accountable for repairing the damage, and repaying Americans who've suffered a financial loss as a result of the BP oil spill. BP reports that 51,329 claims have been opened, from which more than $63.2 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 609 claims adjusters on the ground. To file a claim, visit www.bp.com/claims
or call BP's helpline at 1-800-440-0858. Those who have already pursued the BP claims process and are not satisfied with BP's resolution can call the Coast Guard at (800) 280-7118. Additional information about the BP claims process and all available avenues of assistance can be found at www.disasterassistance.gov