President Obama’s Oval Office Address on BP Oil Spill & Energy


President Obama:
Good evening. As we speak, our nation faces
a multitude of challenges. At home, our top priority is
to recover and rebuild from a recession that has touched the
lives of nearly every American. Abroad, our brave men and women
in uniform are taking the fight to al Qaeda wherever it exists. And tonight, I’ve returned from
a trip to the Gulf Coast to speak with you about the battle
we’re waging against an oil spill that is assaulting our
shores and our citizens. On April 20th, an explosion
ripped through BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig,
about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Eleven workers lost their
lives; 17 others were injured. And soon, nearly a mile beneath
the surface of the ocean, oil began spewing
into the water. Because there’s never been a
leak this size at this depth, stopping it has tested the
limits of human technology. That’s why just
after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our
nation’s best scientists and engineers to tackle
this challenge, a team led by Dr. Steven Chu,
a Nobel-Prize-winning physicist and our nation’s
secretary of Energy. Scientists at our national labs
and experts from academia and other oil companies have also
provided ideas and advice. As a result of these efforts,
we’ve directed BP to mobilize additional equipment
and technology. And in the coming
weeks and days, these efforts should capture
up to 90 percent of the oil leaking out of the well. This is until the company
finishes drilling a relief well later in the summer
that’s expected to stop the leak completely. Already this oil spill is the
worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake
or a hurricane, it’s not a single event that
does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. 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. But make no mistake:
We will fight this spill with everything we’ve
got for as long it takes. We will make BP pay
for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever’s
necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people
recover from this tragedy. Tonight I’d like to
lay out for you what our battle plan is going
forward: what we’re doing to clean up the oil, what we’re
doing to help our neighbors in the Gulf, and what we’re
doing to make sure that a catastrophe like this
never happens again. First, the cleanup. From the very beginning
of this crisis, the federal government has
been in charge of the largest environmental cleanup effort
in our nation’s history, an effort led by
Admiral Thad Allen, who has almost 40
years of experience responding to disasters. We now have nearly 30,000
personnel who are working across four states to
contain and clean up the oil. Thousands of ships and other
vessels are responding in the Gulf, and I’ve authorized
the deployment of over 17,000 National Guard
members along the coast. These servicemen and women
are ready to help stop the oil from coming ashore. They’re ready to help
clean the beaches, train response workers or even
help with processing claims, and I urge the governors
in the affected states to activate these troops
as soon as possible. Because of our efforts, millions
of gallons of oil have already been removed from the
water through burning, skimming and other
collection methods. Over 5-1/2 million feet of
boom has been laid across the water to block and
absorb the approaching oil. We’ve approved the
construction of new barrier islands in Louisiana to
try and stop the oil before it reaches the shore, and
we’re working with Alabama, Mississippi and Florida to
implement creative approaches to their unique coastlines. As the cleanup 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. 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 is, 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. 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 talked to owners of shops
and hotels who wonder when the tourists might
start coming back. The sadness and the 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. 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. 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’s 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. I make that commitment tonight. Earlier, I asked Ray Mabus,
the secretary of the Navy, who’s also a former governor
of Mississippi and a son of the Gulf Coast, 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 region. The third part of our response
plan is the steps we’re taking to ensure that a disaster like
this does not happen again. A few months ago, I approved
a proposal to consider new, limited offshore drilling,
under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe; that
the proper technology would be in place and the necessary
precautions would be taken. That obviously was not the
case on the deepwider — Deepwater Horizon rig. And I want to know why. The American people
deserve to know why. The families I met with last
week who lost their loved ones in the explosion — these
families deserve to know why. And so I have
established a national commission to understand the
causes of this disaster and offer recommendations on
what additional safety and environmental standards
we need to put in place. Already, I have issued
a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling. I know this creates difficulty
for the people who work on these rigs, but for the
sake of their safety, and for the sake of
the entire region, we need to know the facts
before we allow deepwater drilling to continue. And while I urge the commission
to complete its work as quickly as possible, I expect them
to do that work thoroughly and impartially. Now, one place we’ve already
begun to take action is at the agency in charge of regulating
drilling and issuing permits, known as the Minerals
Management Service. Over the last decade, this
agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views
all regulation with hostility; a philosophy that says
corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules
and police themselves. At this agency, industry
insiders were put in charge of industry oversight. Oil companies showered
regulators with gifts and favors, and were essentially
allowed to conduct their own safety inspections and write
their own regulations. And when Ken Salazar became
my secretary of the Interior, one of his very first acts was
to clean up the worst of the corruption at this agency. But it’s now clear that
the problem there ran much deeper, and the pace of
reform was just too slow. And so Secretary Salazar and I
are bringing in new leadership at the agency: Michael
Bromwich, who was a tough federal prosecutor
and inspector general. And his charge over the next
few months is to build an organization that acts as
the oil industry’s watchdog, not its partner. So one of the lessons we’ve
learned from this spill is that we need better regulations,
better safety standards and better enforcement when it
comes to offshore drilling. But a larger lesson is that
no matter how much we improve our regulation of the industry,
drilling for oil these days entails greater risk. After all, oil is
a finite resource. We consume more than 20
percent of the world’s oil, but have less than 2 percent
of the world’s oil reserves. And that’s part of the reason
oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the
surface of the ocean, because we’re running out of
places to drill on land and in shallow water. For decades, we have known
the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered. For decades, we have talked and
talked about the need to end America’s century-long
addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we have
failed to act with the sense of urgency that this
challenge requires. Time and again, the path
forward has been blocked, not only by oil
industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of
political courage and candor. The consequences of our inaction
are now in plain sight. Countries like China are
investing in clean-energy jobs and industries that should
be right here in America. Each day, we send nearly $1
billion of our wealth to foreign countries for their oil. And today, as we
look to the Gulf, we see an entire way of life
being threatened by a menacing cloud of black crude. We cannot consign our
children to this future. The tragedy unfolding on our
coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the
time to embrace a clean-energy future is now. Now is the moment for this
generation to embark on a national mission to unleash
America’s innovation and seize control of our own destiny. This is not some distant
vision for America. The transition away from fossil
fuels is going to take some time, but over the last
year and a half we’ve already taken unprecedented
action to jump-start the clean-energy industry. As we speak, old factories
are reopening to produce wind turbines, people are going
back to work installing energy-efficient windows,
and small businesses are making solar panels. Consumers are buying more
efficient cars and trucks, and families are making their
homes more energy-efficient. Scientists and researchers
are discovering clean-energy technologies that someday will
lead to entire new industries. Each of us has a part to play in
a new future that will benefit all of us. As we recover from
this recession, the transition to clean energy
has the potential to grow our economy and create millions
of jobs — but only if we accelerate that transition,
only if we seize the moment, and only if we rally together
and act as one nation: workers and entrepreneurs,
scientists and citizens, the public and private sectors. You know, when I was a
candidate for this office, I laid out a set of principles
that would move our country towards energy independence. Last year, the House of
Representatives acted on these principles by passing a strong
and comprehensive energy and climate bill — a bill that
finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy
for America’s businesses. Now there are costs associated
with this transition, and there are some who
believe that we can’t afford those costs right now. I say we can’t afford not to
change how we produce and use energy, because long-term
costs to our economy, our national security and our
environment are far greater. I’m happy to look at other ideas
and approaches from either party, as long they seriously tackle
our addiction to fossil fuels. Some have suggested raising
efficiency standards in our buildings, like we did
in our cars and trucks. Some believe we should set
standards to ensure that more of our electricity comes
from wind and solar power. Others wonder why the energy
industry only spends a fraction of what the high-tech
industry does on research and development, and want to
rapidly boost our investments in such research
and development. All of these approaches have
merit and deserve a fair hearing in the months ahead. But the one approach I will
not accept is inaction. The one answer I will not settle
for is the idea that this challenge is somehow too big
and too difficult to meet. You know, the same thing was
said about our ability to produce enough planes and
tanks in World War II. The same thing was said about
our ability to harness the science and technology to
land a man safely on the surface of the moon. And yet time and again we have
refused to settle for the paltry limits of conventional wisdom. Instead, what has defined us as
a nation since our founding is the capacity to
shape our destiny, our determination to
fight for the America we want for our children. Even if we’re unsure exactly
what that looks like, even if we don’t yet know
precisely how we’re going to get there, we
know we’ll get there. It’s a faith in the future
that sustains us as a people. It is that same faith that
sustains our neighbors in the Gulf right now. Each year, at the beginning
of shrimping season, the region’s fishermen take part
in a tradition that was brought to America long ago by fishing
immigrants from Europe. It’s called The
Blessing of the Fleet. And today, it’s a celebration
where clergy from different religions gather to say a prayer
for the safety and success of the men and women who will soon
head out to sea — some for weeks at a time. The ceremony goes on in
good times and in bad. It took place after Katrina,
and it took place a few weeks ago, at the beginning of the
most difficult season these fishermen have ever faced. And still, they came
and they prayed. For as a priest and former
fisherman once said of the tradition, “The blessing
is not that God has promised to remove all
obstacles and dangers. The blessing is that He is with
us always” — a blessing that’s granted, “even in the
midst of the storm.” The oil spill is not the
last crisis America will face. This nation has known
hard times before, and we will surely
know them again. What sees us through — what has
always seen us through — is our strength, our resilience
and our unyielding faith that something better awaits us
if we summon the courage to reach for it. Tonight, we pray
for that courage. We pray for the
people of the Gulf. And we pray that a hand may
guide us through the storm towards a brighter day. Thank you. God Bless You. And may God Bless the
United States of America.

Paranoid Trump Refuses To Work Near Staff He No Longer Trusts


According to a recent report in Politico,
Donald Trump is no longer working as much as he used to inside the oval office and just
in general, the West wing of the white house. Instead, staffers are now saying that Donald
Trump is choosing to spend more time in the residence portion of the white house and those
closest to him believe that it’s because he doesn’t trust his own staff anymore. Here’s how Politico explains it. When you work in the West wing, when you’re
working in the oval office, people are coming and going all the time. They walk right in and they knock on the door
and they come. They’re always listening. They’re always there. There’s always somebody every time you turn
around, but in the residents portion, that part’s off limits. That is technically Donald Trump’s home and
they can’t come in there unless he specifically invites them in. In fact, that resident’s portion of the white
houses where Donald Trump made his July 25th phone a phone call to Ukrainian president
Salinsky because it’s private over there because there’s not as many people come in and go
and except for the people he specifically wants to see, so he’s spending more and more
time over there. He is still working if that’s what they want
to call it. He does still have some people coming in there,
but it’s the people he wants to see the average staffers that people just running around making
copies, getting coffee, answering phones. They’re nowhere to be found and the reason
for that again is because Trump has grown so paranoid that he refuses to be around these
people anymore. Now, here’s the problem with this. One of the problems, because there’s many,
the first is that if the president doesn’t believe he can trust these staffers with what
he says and does, shouldn’t that just raise a bunch of red flags about what he is saying
and doing? I mean if he has nothing to hide, if he’s
not doing anything wrong, why does it matter if that phone call gets over heard or if the
staffer are down the hall, hear’s you say a plan that you’re going to do. If it’s actually a decent plan, right? What are they going to do? Go leak to the press and say, Oh my God, Donald
Trump’s going to do a good thing that, that, that that’s not how it works. If you think they’re going to go lie about
what you said, then guess what? They’re going to do that whether or not you’re
working in the oval office or the residency liars are going to lie in Mr. Trump. I think you know that better than anybody. So this makes no sense. Unless he is doing things and saying things
that might not be legal, I guess would be the best way to say that. And to me that seems like the most logical
thing. We can come to a conclusion we can come through,
right? He doesn’t want people to know what he’s doing. He doesn’t want people to hear what he’s saying. And it’s because those things he’s doing and
saying are probably very bad. Now, here’s the other thing though, Trump
has to trust his staff. He has to work with his staff. The country does still have to keep running,
right? We can’t just shut it down. We can’t just say, well, Trump’s a screw up
anyway. He can’t be doing this. No guys, listen, there’s little day to day
things that presidents have to do. Security briefings, things like that, you
know, keep us safe, make some minor decisions that could have huge ramifications later on
down the line. He still has to do that and in order to do
that, he has to have the trust of his staff. It has to go both ways. They have to tell him the truth. He has to give them a decent, honest answer
about what to do. He has to attend these briefings. He has to listen to the people who know more
than him and he’s not, but he’s still making the decisions. That’s what’s terrifying about this. A paranoid president is a dangerous president
and that is exactly what we’re dealing with with Donald Trump. And as these impeachment hearings go further,
as more and more people come forward and say, yes, the president did a crime, he’s going
to become more withdrawn. He’s going to stop listening to everyone in
his administration. But again, he’ll still have to make the important
decisions that we as American citizens are going to have to live with the consequences
of. And that means we are completely at the whim
of a crazy delusional and paranoid president.

Where the Jobs At?! A Linkedin Employment Series – Episode 14: Craig Wiroll


*cheesy music* Welcome to the Linkedin employment series: Where Da Jobs At? My first guest is Craig Wiroll Gigabit Portfolio Manager for Mozilla Hey Tom, nice to meet you! Thanks for having me. Well…I’m not really “having you” – you paid me $700. So, what else have you done with your life? Well, I have degrees in Journalism and Public Administration. That one was a Master’s degree. And my last job, previous to Mozilla was at the White House as part of the Domestic Policy Council. You worked in the White House – how did that happen? Somebody… mix up some paperwork? Look, the point is you clearly have a good head on your shoulders. You shouldn’t need any help getting a job. Alright…well…can I have my $700 back? No. THE White House? Why didn’t you just say that? I did say it. Does Biden have a good handshake? What kind of shampoo do Bo & Sunny use? Thank you for tuning in for another edition of the Linkedin Employment Series “Where the Jobs At?!?” With our special guest: soon to be unemployed, …not getting any younger… Dedicated family man. Model employee and lifelong friend of the environment. The fabulous…Craig Wiroll. Thank you so much for doing this – I really think this is going to be helpful in trying to find…okay. I take Venmo. Tune in for our next episode Where our guest will be…I don’t know… Hopefully more engaging and charasmatic. *Sound of Silence plays* Hello darkness my old friend… *Craig has no friends*