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What do you think of BP's action?

17:44 UK time, Tuesday, 15 June 2010

BP chief executive Tony Hayward has been accused by a US congressional panel of ignoring dangers when drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Are the claims justified?

House committee on energy and commerce chairman Henry Waxman said BP's "complacency" before the 20 April rig explosion had been "astonishing".

BP has agreed to place $20bn (£13.5bn) in a special fund to deal with compensation payouts for those affected by the oil spill.

Are you affected by the oil spill? What do you think of Obama's handling of the crisis so far? Are you a BP shareholder? Are you happy with BP's response?

Are we addicted to oil?

Find out how events unfolded during the US congressional hearing with BP chief executive Tony Hayward here as he appears before a US Congress committee.


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  • Comment number 1.

    He should say that the unsustainable USA demand for oil is directly linked to taking bigger risks to attain it, hence although the contractors employed to source this oil have a heavey responsibility for this disaster, so too do the American people.

  • Comment number 2.

    He should get his facts right first.. Namely that it was an AMERICAN Rig, it was an AMERICAN drilling company and also that it was an AMERICAN valve that caused the problem and stop being so Anti- British ( STAND UP MR CAMMERON...)..

  • Comment number 3.

    He should make it very clear, to the British people, (but why should he?!!!) that his agenda is NOT to destroy BP. Unfortunately that's exactly where he seems to be heading...

    I doubt very much that he will disclose that fact...

    His very simple and naive agenda is to destroy anything and everything that has any connection with anything British (Mau Mau connections...)

    We CAN forgive, but like our Irish neighbours, we won't forget...

    American pensions are as much affected as British ones, destroy BP and the hand that fed you will come back to bite...

    Tread very carefully, for those you trust may one day stab you in the back... (Julius Caesar)

    And the USA is very good at that...

    Gotta go, CIA taking over computer, if you think I'm kidding... I am...

  • Comment number 4.

    It will happen again. Its inevitable. the reality is that because of corporate influence, the government agencies that are supposed to regulate are instead "captured" by the very industries they are supposed to regulate. Until there is a constitutional amendment that removes "personhood" from corporations, this will continue, no matter who is in power at any given time.

  • Comment number 5.

    He said nothing substantive.
    And I'm very curious what legal authority he's going to force BP to actually pay up, let alone pay into an escrow fund that they don't control. Ultimately, this will just e a replay of the Exxon Valdez spill: decades of stalling litigation by the environmental criminals while the people who were injured get old and die off.

  • Comment number 6.

    " it was an AMERICAN Rig, it was an AMERICAN drilling company and also that it was an AMERICAN valve that caused the problem and stop being so Anti- British"

    This is hilarious. As if the rig etc. were at fault and not the people making the decision regarding the well. In any case, the sentiment is not anti-British, it is anti BP. BP is and criminally negligent now and have been many times in the past and should pay a heavy, heavy price for it. They should be dissolveed entirely. Simply because Great Britain et al have tied their welfare state to this monster does not make it immune to the laws of the free market. It is NOT the state, it is a company. Get it straight.

  • Comment number 7.

    Obama should say that as just as Americans have given no financial compensation to the countries of the world for American actions in trashing the worlds financial markets he won't be levying any unfair fines on BP.

  • Comment number 8.

    Unlike the liberals and socialists here and unlike Obama who is both, I don't believe "Government" has much of a role here. Beyond the defensive national hysteria in Britain and the media generated wailing in the USA, this is an industrial accident. It's not an evil, intentional act and it's a rare occurance in a generally safe and essential industry. And it's primarily up to that industry to find a solution and make good the damaage. There is nothing to suggest "Government" and certainly Mr. Obama can do any better than BP is. What is need is less postering by politicians. And I do wish you British would just shut up and butt out.. if BP is, as you tediously keep reminding us, not a British company, why this pathological interest in an accident by an multinational oil company in American waters?

  • Comment number 9.

    I sent the below comment to the BBC on Sunday night, so I was pretty much right on what he would say. But I doubt if they can clean up this mess in the time he has said in his speech to a couple of weeks or days. There is a hurricane season about to start, the oil spill is getting worse not better, no one knows who's in charge of the clean-up effort, he has said he may use the navy & military, but they haven't the expertise or the equipment to tackle this mammoth task. And this speech wasn't the time to talk of Green technology for that's not going to happen for years...the people of the Gulf coast need things done to stop the spill immediately, or as soon as possible, but it won't be in the time the President said. And he talked a lot comparing it to war & that BP were kind of "Al-Qaeda's" in this war, (literally speaking) & maybe for the people whose livlihoods are threatened, especially fishermen, it feels that way. One thing is for sure is that same victims do not trust BP as far as they could throw them & I don't blame them.

    This tragedy is going to last for years at least 10 to 15 & President Obama will be probably gone from office in eight years...but if this is not rightly taken care of with the President seen to be tackling it seriously then he'll be packing his bags in 2012/2013. At this moment in time, I'd hate to be in his shoes because he has so much on his plate as regards the economy, foreign affairs problems, home grown & foreign terrorism, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran & North Korea etc. but this problem in his own neck of the woods (or sea) to be more specific may be his downfall in the popular stakes if he doesn't get it sorted, without making BP completely broke. But people in the Gulf will certainly be broke if BP doesn't pay out paments fairly, & pay same as soon as possible. BP...your die could be nearly cast.

    My Sunday comment.

    BP's Tony Hayward hasn't been very honest with the US media & he won't even give interviews directly with any of the big broadcasters, so the media in the US are really going for BP in a big way & they are pressurising the Federal Government to act harshly against BP. BP are no angels in the debacle when they wouldn't allow scientists to study video of the daily output for analysis & won't even pay minimum compensation to businesses that are/have been ruined by the spill, or at least are delaying as long as they can the process. Not to talk of the environment that will take at least ten to fifteen years to put right...& all the fixes haven't gone in any way to lessen the damage or to prevent the environment disaster spreading to a greater magnitude, in fact they've made things worse. So President Obama is in a Catch-22 conundrum...his country is America & he has to do good by it's citizens. He will be going on National TV next week to tell the American people what he is going to do at this stage of this catastrophe to tell them how bad it is & is going to get after having taken advise from expert's in the industry & from Professor's of Engineering & Marine & Oceanography Science.

    The main thing of this debacle is that there are human beings in the middle of it through no fault of their own that are without a living after the leak/fallout. They are angry that now after the 20th of April explosion & its now June that nothing is solved or improving as regards the spill. They are angry that BP is not being honest with them or hasn't been since the first day being honest about the true amount of oil leaking & is playing about with offering an advance of conpensatiion that they promised to affected businesses over the last two weeks. There will be inquirys & law suits a plenty now getting ready to hit the courts & BP may be forced now from the time the President speaks to pass over to the Federal government an x-amount of money to a fund for US government officials to pay out to sincere victims of this tragedy. Will Britain/US relations suffer...most likely not because BP promised all along that they would do everything in it's power to sort it out. It has failed & failed miserbly...& Tony Hayward could have been more forthright with the people mostly caugt up in its consequences. of course Transocean will be caught up in the court battles as well as another party responsible for the spill. BP has a bad record over a long period as regards safety, the proof is there if one researches same, but all that would fill a book. So yes, BP has a massive problem on it's hands & it's getting worse by the day...but one thing that would help greatly is if Tony Hayward would act & talk like he is really concerned for the two most important things in this tragedy, the environment & especially the human beings caught up in it. Then & only then can he get his LIFE that he craves so much with his lifestyle back. One truth though for you Tony is, the road back home is going to take some time.

    Jaker, London & Dublin

  • Comment number 10.

    Honestly it doesn't matter who built the rig BP took liability over it when they leased the rig from the company. Just because another company built it doesn't make them blameless especially when they were warned and just ignored it.

  • Comment number 11.

    He should tell the American public to give up the keys to their gas guzzling vehicles, change their wasteful habits and save what oil there is left. Like it or not the user is as culpable as the offender. He should then explain to the American public exactly the history of how the oil business corrupts the nations that produce it. He should explain to the American people what American companies are doing to other countries and their neighbours, in their name, to feed their unquenchable thirst for "secure" oil. Explain to them the destruction and environmental wasteland they are creating in Canada extracting dirty Oil for them from the Tar Sands (Not "Oil Sands" as the Oil companies would refer to have them known)..Would the American public be happy to let Foreign companies walk in and lay waste to an area the size of Florida in order to feed their desire for Oil...I suspect they would not. And shame on Canada's leaders for letting them. But will he tell them these things. Doubtful, because that wouldn't make for a sustainable tenure in office now would it.

  • Comment number 12.

    Given the huge reserves of land based natural gas in North America I find it odd that more use is yet to be made of it. Nat. Gas is also a cheaper and cleaner alternative to oil.
    Potentially if more were to be done to switch from oil to NG the US could avoid buying any foreign oil - except canadian which is not considered foreign in this context. So two objectives could be achieved, a substantial improvement in the balance of payment on international trade, and the greater security provided by home grown energy.
    While I will agree with those that want to switch to 'green' energy sources such as wind and solar etc., the reality is that such alternatives will take a long time to develop in meaningful quantities, whereas NG can be available in huge quantities almost immediately. NG could therefore bridge the gap for as many years as it might take to develop other clean energy sources.
    As to what Obama should do about BP I think it would be wise to cooperate with them as much as possible since they seem willing to take on more costs than can be enforced under existing legislation for clean up.
    Frankly I blame lax oversight by regulators as much if not more than the oil companies who are not going to spend on backup systems unless forced to do so.

  • Comment number 13.

    Nothing is going to change until Americans WAKE UP. That is not probable however. They will want to continue to drive those big pickup trucks and SUV's that do not get great mileage. This will cause companies not to explore heavily into the hybrid market. Part of the problem is our own car companies such as GM and Ford pushing those trucks and SUV's making the customer think they have to have it. Cars are not the only problem. Big house that require lots of heat or cooling to make them comfortable. You see what I mean. Us is the problem. We the People are the problem. An you know most of the people that will read this will not get it. They will think I a nut. Maybe, but I own two Prius' and a wood-pellet stove to heat my home. What have you done to help get off oil?

  • Comment number 14.

    As I see it, BP is doing all it possibly can, but at the end of the day, its liability is restricted to the value of its US business. If BP has any sense, it will already have stripped this of cash and will have ring-fenced it from the rest of its business. To my mind, BP needs to start fighting back and stop playing the white man. At the end of the day, this was a tragic accident which had many causes and blame can be equally apportioned to transocean & Halliburton. I think it is totally unfair that BP has become the scapegoat for the whole event.

  • Comment number 15.

    13 BILL WROTE - What have you done to get off oil?
    I use natural gas Bill.

  • Comment number 16.

    Sadly...Europeans are beginning to see what this person 'Barack Obama'...AKA made of.

    While in Europe in 2008...I was told several times about how great this man is. I explained he had no experience...but for some reason everyone loved him.

    Well....I think the honeymoon phase is starting to end.

    Now if the world can just stay together until we vote this person out.

  • Comment number 17.

    The people of Bhopal, and those of us who care, need to know why.

    We need to know why a poison spill from a US company in 1984 that killed many thousands in India was left untreated, killing and debilitating many since.

    We need to know why those in Bhopal who suffered, and those being born today with defects, as a result of the Union Carbide Corporation, now a subsidiary of an American multinational corporation, the third-largest chemical company in the world, Dow Chemical Company (wikipedia), seem to have no recourse for compensation, yet the US can change rules retrospectively to allow uncapped reimbursement from BP.

    Clean up and compensate.

    The people of Bhopal need to know why – why it doesn’t apply to them.

  • Comment number 18.

    There is no sure way to do any thing, why make the oil industry the whipping boy. There have always been accidents in all sort of industries and there will always be. So what is the point, If USA wants to play, no matter what the excuse, USA will have to pay. Does not matter what the excuse.

  • Comment number 19.

    I agree wholeheartedly with Rather_be_Cycling 10 or so posts above me. This is an industrial accident, so the government's role should be to protect the citizens of the US and nothing more. The escrow fund is ridiculous - according to US laws, Obama should not be able to simply take a chunk of money from a private company.

    Also, I live in America, and I don't blame Britain for the accident. Blaming Britain and blaming BP are entirely different, and I don't know a single American who is upset with Britain. Being upset with a corporation is an entirely different matter.

    I don't think American gas consumption caused this issue... oil is used all around the world and companies drill all around the world. It's simply an industrial accident caused by negligence. The same thing could happen in Venezuela or Russia if safety protocols were not followed.

  • Comment number 20.

    17. At 03:01am on 16 Jun 2010, Elaine wrote:

    The people of Bhopal, and those of us who care, need to know why.

    We need to know why a poison spill from a US company in 1984 that killed many thousands in India was left untreated, killing and debilitating many since.------------Corrupt state government of India, sold out her people for almost nothing and allowed the American company walk away with murder. It will be better if the question of compensation is settled with the government of India and corrupt politicians be punished than to be asking questions.

  • Comment number 21.

    He should resign immediately. Even the New York Times are calling this a fiasco and Sen Rangell said that the government 'had no idea what they are doing'.
    Another election with a cabinet made up of competent people, not finance advisors who can't get their taxes right, or self avowed Marxists.

    He is doing a great job in one area-he is making Jimmy carter look good....

  • Comment number 22.

    He said nothing of consequence that hasn't been said by others and really did nothing more than blaming BP for everything and threatening them. No doubt BP holds a lot of responsibility here but as others have pointed out, this is an American designed rig using American built parts and run by Americans. So, when the spill is contained fully, and we hope that will be soon, the dust will settle and the parasites will take over with filing law suits. In this event, I wonder if BP will file counter suits against the US companies involved. It should be interesting.
    Peter D South Carolina

  • Comment number 23.

    Obama is a disgrace. He punishes allies and buddies up enemies. His message is: if you invest in America, kiss your dollars goodbye. Bad for investors, bad for America, bad for the world business climate. A few of the scores of reasons I didn't vote for him.

  • Comment number 24.

    OK. BP had the accident and spilled the oil. But surely the blame can't be all theirs. The US's demand for oil and it's loathing of having to buy it from abroad; and it's relaxation of off-shore drilling, has to share part of the blame. The US is paranoid about this. Oil is not just for heating and fueling airplanes, trains, trucks, buses and cars it's used in the manufacture of just about everything we buy. There will always be a huge demand for it. So finding supplies nearer home is a matter of urgency. And drilling off-shore is part of this overall scenario. I think Obama should appreciate this and share part of the cost of clean up and compensation. I thought Obama was a practical man who could measure events with an eye to getting the job done. The oil is spilled. Nothing is gained by yelling at each other and pointing fingers. BP and the US gov must roll up it's collected sleeves and sort it out. Once that job is accomplished then causes and prevention can be discussed.

  • Comment number 25.

    The first and only thing Barak Obama should do is resign!

  • Comment number 26.

    I was under the impression that the platform et al were contracted to BP and as such the cost of the mess lands squarely in BPs lap regardless of the subcontractors messing up or not.

    I've no doubt that battalions of lawyers representing BP, Halliburton & Transocean are going to be facing each other off once the dust settles and the final cost is calculated.

    BP should initially pay for the clean up (as they are doing) and they will no doubt try and recover some of that expenditure from their sub contractors.

    Re the escrow account....Despite perhaps appearing prudent, I think this sets a dangerous precedent whereby the US state is effectively controlling a private multi national company via edict. If Putin were to announce such a step on an American HQ'd company there would be more than a few eyebrows raised.

  • Comment number 27.

    Some have taken this environmental disaster as an opportunity to bash Barack Obama, British Petroleum or both. I say get rid of your Hummers, big as they come pick up trucks and driving around like there is no end in sight in regards to natural oil reserves. Cheap oil has a price and it just came home to roost. Blame your own habits for a change!

  • Comment number 28.

    Resign now immediately, the best thing Obama can do for America and the World is to Resign immediatly. He is so momumentaly unqualified and over his head. Look the Democrats won the last election, we will allow Obama to resign and apoint Hillary as succesor.
    Obama RESIGN turn it ove rto Hillary for the nexxt two years and let us seee what she can do.
    O B A M A.... R E S I G N.... N O W

  • Comment number 29.

    Clean up and compensate, well said Elaine. Might want to call BP and let them know.

  • Comment number 30.

    The President's speech has two major goals. One is the need to contain the oil spill and curtail the economic and social damage to the Gulf Region.The second point raised is focused on energy self sufficiency by exploiting other sources than oil.The time spent in his speech is more inclined to the later with out any specific and socio economic approach while the immediate regional problem of cleaning is at the back burner. I urge the president to focus on the immediate problem of cleaning the oil spill rather than dwelling on a political agenda and fully agree for making BP responsible for the damage.

  • Comment number 31.

    @ Rather_Be_Cycling
    If the government does not hold corporations accountable for environmental catastrophes, who will? They would not mind dumping any and all garbage everywhere just to make an extra buck. I do not know what you do for a living or where you live, but I will guess you are not a fisherman whose livelihood is at stake. Nor do you work at a vacation spot in Florida and your business is about to go down the drain.

    And how is this being handled any worse than Katrina? At least Obama turned his attention to the matter promptly unlike a certain someone else.

  • Comment number 32.

    Americans are an interesting group when it comes to politics. Everything that ever goes wrong during any president's term, even if it is only one week in, is automatically the fault of that president. No one thinks "Hey, maybe the policies from the previous presidency or two ago are finally kicking in." Sorry, but some things take time, and Obama will spend quite a bit of it cleaning up the messes of previous presidencies. So he cannot resign just yet, sorry!

  • Comment number 33.

    RE: grainsofsand "...Americans have given no financial compensation to the countries of the world for American actions in trashing the worlds financial markets he won't be levying any unfair fines on BP."
    1. You need to check who donated the most for the european IMF bailout. True, the US is the biggest culprit, but european investment banks (I worked for one at that time) are also guilty of much fraud and recklessness and contributed significantly to the global meltdown. FYI: Your own country's regulations allow far more sleazy banking practices than the Swiss or US permit.
    2. Don't worry, BP won't have to pay any unfair fines. Only fair ones.(I haven't checked the Brit tabloids yet today but surely even they can't ignore the testimony from Exxon-Mobil and Halliburton which confirms that BP did not follow recommended standards for the well)

  • Comment number 34.

    The double standards of the USA in this make me sick.
    They use 25% of the worlds oil resources and see nothing wrong in that. If the demand was not there then these high risk deep drilling operations would not happen.
    Someone needs to remind the president of the USA involvement in the Bhopal Gas Tragedy. A US company, figures vary but the likely death toll is around 15,000. Half a million people were exposed to poison gas and hundreds of tons of toxic chemicals still remain there abandoned, leaking into the water system and still making people ill.
    When are the press going to ask questions of the president about this? What happened there, and continues to happen, is far worse.
    BP should restrict what it pays to its legal liability set out in USA law. A US company would. Failing that they should declare BP America bankrupt and walk away. Then the American management team who run BP America can take responsibility and stop bashing BP because it is not an American company.

  • Comment number 35.

    Obama assumes that people will be satisfied with the idea that someone else is to blame and is going to pay. Actually what people want to hear is that someone is doing something to stop the leak, clean the mess and compensate the innocent.
    He continues to fail on all fronts; he postures on the leak unable to solve it but also unwilling to work with the only people who can solve it; he has done nothing to help the clean up; he has only postured on compensation but 6 weeks later his huge federal resources have done nothing to help the claims process.
    Congress today began to undermine his British Petroleum theme by pointing out that all the oil companies are unprepared for a spill and the regulators are equally clueless. His failure to mention Transocean and Haliburton is sure to backfire; he has demonized the industry and it is only a matter of time before the media tires of BP an starts horror stories about US oil as well. Americans are not stupid and they can understand that more than one company is at fault and that the regulators failed. If Obama owned the regulatory failure while pointing out it dates back 15 years or more he would gain huge respect, but he is a shallow politician, not a leader.
    A pattern is emerging. Obama loves to make a keynote speech, denigrate some part of corporate life and then wonder why the public has lost all confidence in that part of the corporate world (His State of the Union speech castigated regulators and financial institutions and then lamented that no one trusts them anymore).

  • Comment number 36.

    31. At 04:20am on 16 Jun 2010, DO_MD wrote:
    @ Rather_Be_Cycling
    "If the government does not hold corporations accountable for environmental catastrophes, who will? They would not mind dumping any and all garbage everywhere just to make an extra buck. I do not know what you do for a living or where you live, but I will guess you are not a fisherman whose livelihood is at stake. Nor do you work at a vacation spot in Florida and your business is about to go down the drain."

    Actually, BP pledged to make restitution whilst Obama was still on vacation! Nothing he has said or done has changed anything except stroke his own inflated ego. Blathering from Washington isn't going to do anything. Or video of him walking the beach in his shirtsleeves or using profanity on a national newscast. This isn't leadership, it's Southside Chicago political postering. And if you think the people of the Gulf are going to rely on Government, they must not have been around during Katrina.

  • Comment number 37.

    As an American, I wish Barack would just resign and do us all a favor. He is anything but a leader and I hope all that voted for him are happy with his promised 'Hope and Change'. He's holding BP responsible, but it was his agencies that gave the go-ahead for the drilling. If he is looking to lay blame, he should start by looking in the mirror. Hang in there mates, we're hoping to change this a bit in the mid-term elections in November.


  • Comment number 38.

    is wrong to blame Prez Obama for the delayed action as USA and UK have close diplomatic ties. The President's patience has now reached a saturation point - it is now 57 days since the spill - without any concrete bearing on the part of BP. Moreover very incriminating facts and figures have come to light as to the lies and counter-accusations that BP had been doctoring all these days. Initially BP said that there was a loss of one thousand barrels a day and when confronted by US officials it went on updating the loss to 40,000 barrels a day when in reality they is a loss of 60,000 barrels a day.
    Obama should engage experts in the field to plug the leak and all such expenses should be recovered from BP and in case BP fails to honour the commitment drag BP to court.

  • Comment number 39.

    As an American he should not be solely be blaming "BP", there were other firms namely American firms that are also to blame, but there is hardly any mention of them only "BP". I find it very sad that US media makes Obama look good and he and the US media demonize "BP". If this happened to the former President Bush the US media would also be blaming Bush. Ironically I imagine that Bush would not be bashing "BP". This whole incident only makes me feel that Obama is a farce of a US president.

  • Comment number 40.

    Obama has to make sure that BP survives this episode financially, a lot of Americans are waiting to be compensated for the disaster. The next thing that Obama should do is to make sure this whole media, law suit, compensation, long term economic and environmental losses are well addressed via the court system with independent prosecutors and federal judges in charge. Obama just needs to be the conductor of the orchestra, he needs to make sure the music is playing on rhythm and on time-lines that are realistic. By the time the actual compensation reaches the people, America would have voted for 3 more Presidents, if one takes into account how long it took for the plaintiffs from the Exxon Valdez disaster to see their checks.

  • Comment number 41.

    I really got a kick out of the U.S. politician calling on Obama to take over BP, and if necessary take over the country. I just wasn't sure if it was Great Britain or the U.S. he was supposed to take over. The U.S. government has turned into a comedy show.

  • Comment number 42.

    Of course industry that tried to profit must pay to clear up the problem caused. Obama has already drawn a parallel to “9/11” but that was not an industrial accident . More people died at Bhopal and that was an industrial accident – still the industry that tried to profit has not covered anywhere near the full cost. Treat things equally please – Dow Chemical must pay the true cost of the Bhopal accident as should BP in this case.

  • Comment number 43.

    I think that it is correct that those responsible for this disaster should fully compensate the victims and pay to restore the ecology of the region. However, President Obama should stop talking about a single company being responsible. This is patently false and will ultimately undermine the confidence of thinking people in his ability to speak honestly and act correctly.

    Added to this, the vehemence of Americans when their lifestyles are threatened should be tempered with an understanding of how their lust for guzzling carbons have lead to the problem in the first place.

    Finally, now that they have their danders up for all things being morally correct they should reinvestigate their actions in Bhopal when Union Carbide caused the deaths of some 15000 innocents and then turned their back on them.

    Gross hypocrisy should not tolerated.

  • Comment number 44.

    Well, that didn't work on any level, did it, Barry, me old mate? The oil didm't disappear, BP didn't run to the Whiter-then-White House door with billions in a handcart topped by the CEO's head and the company ownership papers for you, no-one's rioting outside the British Embassy and the world's none the better for watching your arrogant, offhand, couldn't-really-give-a-toss body language and listening to a recycled campaign speech. And last but not least, unlike the slimeball Blair you so resemble in other respects, who could always come up smelling of roses, you blew it - no-one, but no-one, responded to the charisma, the rhetoric, the venue, or even what little content there was.

    You're all washed up and no place to go, Barry-Baby - you've made your money and got into the history books. You haven't the wit, the guts, the sense or the personality to manage a fish 'n' chip stall, let alone a fading superpower. So take a hike.

  • Comment number 45.

    Here's a living in the USA view:

    1) I would like to see Obama fix the down regulation of the oil industry left over from the bush regime, this might prevent another disaster.

    2) I would like to see Obama blame our OWN oil companies, particularly Transocean whom is directly responsible.

    3) Self-Censorship of the oil spill has gone so far as to block scientists access to the site. Covertly blocking the media and scientists by proxy under the guise of "BP is in total control of the scene, and it's ultimately their decision who can look at the beaches" has to end.

    4) STOP BLAMING BP soley and publicly - for god's sake these idiots will collapse the company, and possibly the economy in Europe.

    It's very sad offshore drilling here will never stop. Ultimately, if your state legalized it to begin with, but couldn't accept the consequences - it's your own fault.

    Blaming a foreign oil company for an accident caused by both an American rig and American company due to down regulation of the industry by our government is just plain lame. Obama has no imagination. He could have just ordered every text book on the gulf burned, and re-printed a new version labeling it "the black sea". We'd be none the wiser. Actually he could probably do it with a court order and wikipedia. This place really is as dumb as the crap we export.

  • Comment number 46.

    RE: 32. DO_MD wrote:
    "Americans are an interesting group when it comes to politics. Everything that ever goes wrong during any president's term, even if it is only one week in, is automatically the fault of that president. No one thinks "Hey, maybe the policies from the previous presidency or two ago are finally kicking in." Sorry, but some things take time, and Obama will spend quite a bit of it cleaning up the messes of previous presidencies. So he cannot resign just yet, sorry!"

    The long-standing policy of letting oil companies have their way has been followed (and regulations weakened) from Reagans time. But the head of the executive office is responsible for deciding if following past policies is wise (an impossible task). Changing policies requires the support of those who will be affected. Before the twin towers attack plenty of security experts warned the public that terrorist attacks were likely, but nobody could have persuaded the airlines and the public that we should have security screening for airports. It's human nature to only take steps to solve a problem when it's about to destroy us. Then the public wonders... what took the politicians so long. But careful oversight would have prevented BP from taking reckless shortcuts... and all the necessary regulations were already in place! Corrupt politicians and BP's lack of integrity and ethics caused this.

  • Comment number 47.

    It looked to us as if, we have totally forgotten about the spill to tell us what action is initiated by the Government Authorities to become a force behind ‘BP’ to stop the spill which is still happening unabated but rightfully or wrongfully providing us with various figures about the amount of the spill that is happening now, one different from the other, which is nothing to do with fighting with the actual problem of controlling the well or bringing the flowing well into our favor but it surely and certainly infusing a fear in the mind of ‘BP’ to try additional methods than what is currently under use to capture the entire spill unless the relief well take over the ruins of the well. We have possibly turned into worst than communism overnight through issue of warnings of imposition of excessive punishment to the so called wrong doer before it is making any attempt to stand-up and walk on its own.

    When something unusual happens due to carelessness or otherwise on the part of a Company to cause a huge pain to others, it must compensate the sufferers in the best possible way irrespective of circumstances it might has to face due to the additional burden it needs to shoulder. With our leanings from the present well, we can well exploit the reservoir on our behalf for a long period of time but our present lukewarm approach to the situation is possibly harming us more than doing of any good to us. We must know that Money cannot undo the damage that has already done by the spill but it can only lessen the pain to the extent possible.

    Though this column I am assuring the entire that I am ever ready to offer my best help to BP to take control of the well at the earliest if I am called upon to do so; harming none. Since I am a retired person with no obligations whatsoever to any; BP can well issue an order to the undersigned to become a part of the team who are fighting to stop the flow relentlessly without much of success still, being self was never ever unsuccessful in bringing such situations under one’s favor irrespective of how much complex the problem is.

    (Dr.M.M.HAZARIKA, PhD)

  • Comment number 48.


  • Comment number 49.

    RE: 12 kelby wrote:
    "Given the huge reserves of land based natural gas in North America I find it odd that more use is yet to be made of it. Nat. Gas is also a cheaper and cleaner alternative to oil."

    In the past the sales price of gas often wasn't high enough to make a profit(taxes and the cost of environmental regulations are also a part of the cost). It's that simple. And before some anti-capitalism zealot jumps in consider this: would you continue going to work every day if you spent more on your job(ie: the cost of gas to drive to work) than you were paid? It's that simple folks.

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 51.

    Nothing is going to change until Americans WAKE UP. That is not probable however. They will want to continue to drive those big pickup trucks and SUV's that do not get great mileage.

    Not so fast: the most popular cars in America, in particular most popular among those under age thirty five, are cars like the Prius or Volkswagen Beetles: hybrids and car models that get 40 miles to the gallon. SUV sales have been steadily declining for many years and pickup trucks are purchased as a matter of necessity (ranchers in Texas, farmers in Kansas, mountain patrols in the Rockies, harbormasters in Maine: these people need their pickups to eke a living.) Euro built cars generally do not and have never filled this niche and Japanese pickups like Hondas have about the same mileage stats-if you have any better suggestions, sir, be my guest. Until then, wait for Ford to come out with its hybrids in 2012, and pay attention to the fact that ethanol companies have begun to broadcast commercials. A sign of the times, if you ask me. Not a big sign, but a sign: with or without Obama, in the long term this is not a fight the oilmen are going to win as easily as they used to.

    He should get his facts right first.. Namely that it was an AMERICAN Rig, it was an AMERICAN drilling company and also that it was an AMERICAN valve that caused the problem and stop being so Anti- British ( STAND UP MR CAMMERON...)..

    Really? You think so? Well, then let me ask you this: if I rent out a house to a man from another country with the understanding that he must see to its upkeep, and then the same man burns it down to the ground, who is responsible, me or the guy I rented the house to? And why would I be hopping up and down red faced with rage that somebody burned down a piece of my property, tell me??- Since Exxon Valdez, the law has stated that whomever makes the spill must clean it up. The law, thus, has been in place for twenty years and is a condition of drilling anywhere on US territory. BP knew (or should have known) the risks, as they apply to all oil companies that operate here... the risks, and the price to be paid.

    As for David Cameron, the best he can do is be certain that BP's shareholders aren't too badly burned by this fiasco as pensioners already have their backs against the wall in the UK, and in his shoes I would actually be double checking BRITAIN's oil interests in the North Sea: just like the Gulf of Mexico, that too is deep sea drilling, but unlike Louisiana, if it gets loose, it will cause an international accident as it will drift towards Sweden. (and more infighting in the EU will not be a good thing.) On the other hand, he also should not (as Boris Johnson has) use an old political chestnut of setting up America as a patsy for being the most vile and loathesome creature on earth, a greedy self-absorbed polluter that did not sign Kyoto. Why? Because so many of his own constituents have hypocritically invested in a company that has 1) been involved in the oil business for eons 2) has been cited for negligent practices all over the world (this is the latest and worst of FOUR accidents in the U.S. over the past ten years) & 3) it is a slap in the face to the eleven men who died and the thousands more families that have lost all income from this, not to mention a situation that could REALLY make any working relationship he may hope to build with Obama difficult (he is due to fly here soon, if I am not mistaken.)

    OK. BP had the accident and spilled the oil. But surely the blame can't be all theirs. The US's demand for oil and it's loathing of having to buy it from abroad; and it's relaxation of off-shore drilling, has to share part of the blame.

    When the leak was first announced, BP said 1,000 barrels a day were being leaked. Any fool with a knowledge of calculus knows that cannot be right by looking at the footage; no, strike that, just any plain old fool could tell you that sludge cannot be just 1,000 barrels!!
    Secondly, the relaxation of offshore drilling law is a legacy of the much hated Bush presidency, which upon closer inspection, was only partly successful: remember, Bush and his cronies wanted to open up an oil pipeline in an Alaskan wildlife refuge, and other members of his party want(ed) to begin drilling in places like Virginia, in other locations in Alaska (Palin) and in California (they have stated as such as recently as April.) In other words, we should be counting our lucky stars that this was not WORSE.

    They use 25% of the worlds oil resources and see nothing wrong in that. If the demand was not there then these high risk deep drilling operations would not happen.

    Actually, the figure is closer to 20%. Furthermore, if I were you, I would be much more worried about India and China in this department: each has about four times the population of the United States. Each has shown exponential growth over the past years, both in eligible drivers and in persons who can afford a car, not to mention the fact that most of the world's untapped oil reserves sit in ASIA. The appetite for material resources in each nation will not diminish with time, but grow (China surpassed the U.S. for oil consumption in 2006; India likely will do the same this decade, pushing the US to third place.) Furthermore, if I am not mistaken, the UK has interests in the North Sea and the EU itself buys a lot of its oil from Gazprom (Russia) both of which utilize deep sea drilling and have done so for a long time. Do you see anything wrong with supporting Russian oligarchs or would you rather keep whingeing about BP?

    ..A US company, figures vary but the likely death toll is around 15,000. Half a million people were exposed to poison gas and hundreds of tons of toxic chemicals still remain there abandoned, leaking into the water system and still making people ill.

    25 years ago a US multinational gas company poisoned thousands of Indians and should have been raked across the coals. That much is agreed upon. However, in twenty years the Indian government has had ample opportunity to bring the CEO who caused the disaster to justice. (Last I checked, extradition treaties were still in effect.) Twenty-five years and multiple prime ministers later, not a single one has brought the issue to the attention of the Justice Department or made it into a dealbraking diplomatic issue. Why? -Because if they did they would expose their own corruption and mishandling of Bhopal, first of all, and secondly they would touch upon India's current, extreme, HOMEGROWN problems with industrialization and lax environmental laws. If Manmohan Singh wishes to use the BP disaster as an opportunity to clear up Bhopal with Obama, I doubt the White House or the American people shall object as those poor people deserve some solace...but the costs may sadly outweigh the benefits for Singh.

    It is interesting that the facts of the Bhopal case have been available for 25 years...and only now at this time does the British media take an interest (shocking even, given the longstanding immigration patterns from India to the UK.) Trolling around the internet, I have found at least half a dozen British publications spinning and spitting venom at Barack Obama and Congress because they dared call BP "British Petroleum" (funny how that works when corporate headquarters, are, were, and remain, in London.) Meanwhile, the people of the Gulf Coast just want to stop sobbing over their lost jobs, over their lost husbands, over the dead dolphins and pelicans that wash ashore, and want BP to stop making promises and start actually ACTING upon them (facts: they won't let people volunteer at the beach with the cleanup because they do not want photos snapped of people in HAZMAT suits and they have refused to answer any questions from ANYONE.) If the people of the UK have so much hate in their hearts that they would deign it a good thing that a second Bhopal may be in the works here, or are more concerned with the returns they will get on BP shares than the sight of a dying ecosystem, then I pity their myopia.

    Fourth of July is in about 3 weeks. (Snorting derisively) Happy Birthday America.

  • Comment number 52.

    My dear brother OBAMA,
    Deal with the situation as it be.You r known as a symbol of trust and we agree that whatever decision u take will be better for the entire world.I PRAY FOR ALMIGHTY THAT MAY ALLAH HELPS U AND PROTECT U AND UR FAMILY AND OUR WORLD FROM EVILS,HATRED.AAMIN.

  • Comment number 53.

    What action should he take? Well he can start by shutting his big gob and stop his constant Brit bashing, Also our government should show some courage and tell Obama that since us Brits are all so bad and not liked by our “American Cousins” we will be withdrawing all our troops from Afghanistan within 7 days and he can fight his own wars in future and could he kindly remove his troops from the bases on UK soil at once.

    Seriously though I said it when this man was elected president and I will say it again, Obama is a second rate politician straight out of the Tony Blair mould, a weak man in a job way to big for him, just like Blair and Brown he does not know what to do so he blames everyone and anyone else for his failings..

  • Comment number 54.

    As I understand it if you are drilling for oil in the rest of the world two wells are required one is for safety reasons for exactly the problem we have seen in the USA so why America do not insist on the safety rule needs to be investigated as a lot of the blame must be on their shoulders as well I think I am right about this comment perhaps you can look into this safety rule

  • Comment number 55.

    Usual hypocrisy. It will happen again - if this wasn't hitting mainland usa there'd be far less of a flap.

  • Comment number 56.

    If legislation was behind the mans desires I think he would be more level headed and reasonable. Ranting and raving oil executives because they are adhering to their legal rights is not pretty. Change the law for the next time not retrospectively to fit the need now!

  • Comment number 57.

    President Obama and the US Govt and its people are right to pressure the people responsible for this accident, which I believe BP has now.

    As for BP executives 'lying', well lets not pretend here that this is something that BP Execs do alone, I am certain that all very large corporates, including all those US based ones, are filled with lies and deceit, a mentality brought about mostly by absolute greed for both power and money, and many people around the world pay for such attitudes on a daily basis whilst those of us 'at home' either simply do not know about the havoc wreaked by some of our companies/corporations or do not care and of course some actively try to change their own ways.

    Seems to me that the US suffers from a social issue when such things occur, that is borne from their sue and screw mentality, and this attitude seems rather prevalent right now. I believe they have in fact handled this whole affair very very badly, I say this because as I first stated no one would argue that ultimately BP has a responsibility, but the US have become aggressive and arrogant and overly moralizing here and I believe some members of their own hierarchy see this as an opportunity to get some quick cash for cheap at very little effort and are applying pressure in very specific places and are also misleading people about some of the realities of what as occurred here.

    Let not also forget here that the US Govt (I know many US citizens are though) aren't to really 'Eco Friendly' in general, so screaming about the environment doesn't really cut it for the rest of the world, one poster from another HYS mentioned that California has better emission laws than the UK, yeah I agree that may well be true in general, but then you need them don't you, as 'my car will go 55 miles on a gallon petrol and your does 12 miles on a gallon...', doesn't sound like them laws are so good to me after all. And I believe the US have still failed to ratify numerous 'eco' based policies set out and and agree upon by international bodies. So lets not pretend they actually care about the environment at large, except of course when its their own land.

    I think there are 2 things that have become more apparent in regard to this situation, first, we as a whole race in general need to wake up and accept that any form of activity poses risks and that its not simply enough to point fingers and lay blame, we all need to accept we are all tied together and in part this accident occurred because of the pressure to supply oil and therefore we all have a role to play.

    Second, I feel that the US are pushing the rest of us too far, globally they are very good at pointing out responsibility to others, pointing fingers of blame and making demands, often quite unreasonable ones, yet almost always fail to accept their own responsibility, almost always fail to compensate and pay fully for the issues and problems they have cause other nations, they almost always put them selves first at all costs irrelevant of whether that choice is morally and ethically sound and almost always fail to understand why it is that so many people have a problem with their general attitude on the international stage.

    Finally, I would suggest to the US that they are setting a precedent here, and this is of course their prerogative but I think they should take heed; the next time they cause or are involved in a major issue globally, caused either by their business or political activities, they should be nailed to the floor after witnessing their behaviour over this episode.

  • Comment number 58.

    America is waiting not for a new source of energy due to the present crisis.As Americans, we are waiting for a salvo from the President to say that BP must account for each day and that the solution should be in a day or two not till August. We just want the spill to stop even if it is for one day. We are witnessing a disaster for which we were never prepared even in our wildest dreams!

  • Comment number 59.

    " Usual hypocrisy. It will happen again - if this wasn't hitting mainland usa there'd be far less of a flap. "

    I totally agree.

    I find there's little expectation from anyone in this county for anything, even total apathy over the wars we're in. We have the best TV shows, the best video games, the best computers, and any of the other trillion escapes money can buy. Honestly, I'm not sure how far this will go in the future, but it's clear worse things are to come. Because it is so clear, it is hard to see.

  • Comment number 60.

    President Obama should ensure that the USA reduces its demand for energy (road and air traffic, air conditioning etc) drastically and immediately.

    This would reduce this wild scramble to extract oil from ever-more-inaccessible sites, with inherent risks.

  • Comment number 61.

    Whilst the world symphathises with the immensity of the oil disaster caused by the failure of the BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico together with the tragic loss of 11 lives in April 2010, Barack Obama's suggestion that ..'BP will be made to pay....' is a breathtaking suggestion that defies belief given the tradgedy that occured in December 1984 in Bhopal, India with the loss 0f 15,000-20,000 lives. When Dow Chemcals (Union Carbide) have been made ' pay', together with all the American Financial institutions that helped precipitate the recent world financial melt down, then maybe we should take your suggestions seriously Mr President. In the meantime Mr President, the USA's backyard is less than clean (no pun intended) and tidy.

  • Comment number 62.

    The 20 April 2010 explosion of the oil rig being run for BP in the Gulf of Mexico has resulted in an oil spill which has caused ecological contamination and 11 people died.
    There have been parallels drawn to the 9/11 Twin Towers attack.
    Obama seems to think the world has come to an end and wants a massive fund to be set up to compensate US companies and citizens.
    On 3 December 1984 forty tonnes of a toxin called methyl isocyanate leaked from the American controlled Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal. Some 3,500 people died within days and more than 15,000 in the years since.
    The terrible effects of the gas continue and the site of the former pesticide plant is still not cleaned up.
    The eight recently convicted former employees were each ordered to pay fines of 100,000 Indian rupees (£1,467) but the American employee was not there. Compensation for victims was pennies ... but it wasn't in the US, so that's OK isn't it?

  • Comment number 63.

    Perhaps he should now go and get himself a bucket, roll up his sleeves, get his wellies on and get stuck in. That's what "leading by example" is all about. As an ex-SNCO from the Armed Forces I would never expect one of my subordinates to do something I could not and would not do myself, and better. Show us what you are made of Obama.

  • Comment number 64.

    Its unfortunate that something as such as occurred because of a few in charge are constantly trying to brown nose someone to save money for he can look good in front of the share holders. Unfortunate this type of behavior is pushed in our society. I have seen these types of irresponsible people all my life. They are the one that others say "they are the go getter and the aggressive ones" and somehow or another it is overlooked at how irresponsible these people are simply because they take "short cuts" or "cut the cost by taking a huge risk at destroying a organization or property". It seems greed motives those who can't seem to get enough. Sleeping on a building filled with cash isn't enough, they just have to have more regardless of how they go about getting it at any cost to "someone else"!

  • Comment number 65.

    until that spill stops.... :(

  • Comment number 66.

    16. At 02:58am on 16 Jun 2010, Vyker wrote:

    Sadly...Europeans are beginning to see what this person 'Barack Obama'...AKA made of.

    While in Europe in 2008...I was told several times about how great this man is. I explained he had no experience...but for some reason everyone loved him.


    I think the reason was anyone would be better than Bush.

    Obama looks to be struggling, to be honest I cannot see him making another term in office.

  • Comment number 67.

    Did I miss something here? Wasn't the operating crew on that rig American? Chosen by American people, who work for American companies? Wasn't this rig and its equipment maintained by Americans? I'm pretty sure it was so...

    I have no problem with BP taking responsibility as ultimately they are at the top of the pile as it were, but why do we hear nothing about the US companies responsible for this day to day operation and maintenance program? What part in this are they playing and what responsibilities are they taking on for themselves and what responsibilities are the US Govt. forcing them to accept for their own part?

    I also hear about how BP have supposedly 'broken' rules according to other US oil companies in the way this rig/well was operated, therefore if this is true, then why did those American companies and its employees continue to work this rig knowing it was bad practice? Why did the people and companies overseeing this operation allow it to continue without bringing it to the attention of any particular regulatory authority?

    Why has none of this been mentioned anywhere in the mainstream?

    Seems to me that the US and its president are doing a little bit of misdirecting of their own, outrageous...

  • Comment number 68.

    Pres. OBAMA has found out he can't walk on water, But he can walk on oil
    companies BP but not american companies?it was an AMERICAN Rig, it was an AMERICAN drilling company and also that it was an AMERICAN valve that caused the problem.Mr. Obama wants to set up a escrow fund run by americans using BP money and of course thay will take millions of Pounds from BP in wages.

  • Comment number 69.

    I wrote on my blog: So the BP oil spill saga goes on.  With talk of BP failing as a company.  All because a safety system did not function properly.  What is the probability that these systems fail?  Presumably drilling rigs buy these parts; are they standard or custom made by each company?  Could the failure have happened equally well at any offshore platform, of any oil company?  In that case, why single out BP as responsible?  How much is the failure probability dependent on the subcontracting company that runs the platform?  How much on regulation & inspection of safety devices?
    Should we not have an industry-wide insurance for such accidents?  If the result of the BP oil spill is that BP gets bought by another company, then instead of two independent companies we will have one much bigger one.  Not good for safety.  Not good for dealing with inertia.
    We are again apportioning blame instead of looking at the probabilities, seeing how we can minimise those and shoulder the accident together.  Anyone who uses petrol is surely for some small fraction to blame?

  • Comment number 70.

    President Obama and the American government simply don't have the technical skills needed to stop this spill. Only experts in the oil industry do. It's silly to think that he can do anything to stop the spill except to keep pressure on BP. He should be focused on mobilizing all available resources to clean up the shores and wildlife.

    As an American, it shames me to see the rhetoric coming out of America about BP. If this rhetoric drives down BP's share price to a level where it could be acquired by another oil firm (at the right price it would probably be attractive even with the Gulf spill), then the damage to other BP stakeholders could be immense. People rely on BP to top up their pension funds--not just in the UK but also in the US. Yes--help the people who are suffering from this accident, but let's remember that they are not the only stakeholders in this situation.

    And I agree that the US should take this opportunity to link the need for these risky sorts of drilling operations to Americans' desire to drive stupid-size cars (but let's be honest --who wouldn't at the ridiculous gas prices in the US?). I doubt that much of the oil coming out of the Gulf would be shipped elsewhere in the world when the world's largest oil consumer is sitting on the well's doorstep. That well would have serviced the US's unconquenchable thirst for oil.

    How I wish we could just talk about this honestly instead of needing all the rhetoric.

  • Comment number 71.

    I have no understanding of how Americans think. Kick out Obama because he has no clue on what to do? Er, it seems to me that Bush was kinda clueless too when he was informed the towers were hit 911.
    Presidents are politicians first. They have just the basics when it comes to understanding how nuclear reactors work, how rockets fly up into space, how computers work. So "all" he can do is bite the hand that is the "only one capable" of fixing the problem. He, like everyone else has their fingers crossed but he is one person that is not getting much sleep.
    We are pushing our limitations and are feeling the reprocussions of it. Until somebody comes up with a solution, all the oil will escape out of the centre of the earth until it deflates like a flat ball.
    Probably somebody in a "bar" knows how to fix this, just like taking a cork out of a wine bottle with a shoe string idea.

  • Comment number 72.

    So Obama wants BP to pay for all the people laid off due to the suspension of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico?

    Excellent. I assume this means he will also expect the incompetent/criminal US banks to pay the wages of the huge numbers of people laid off all over the world due to the collapse of the sub-prime market in the US?

    I'll take mine in cash please.

  • Comment number 73.

    He should tell the people of Bhopal that his country was wrong for the way they acted during that disaster, that they (the Americans) were responsible for it, and that they are going to pay to clean it up and pay reparations to the people of Bhopal, that he's going to kick America's a** for it. Then he can say whatever the hell he likes about BP.

  • Comment number 74.

    It is a bit late to ask what President Obama should do. He should have been "doing" when the disaster first occurred, not waiting for BP to "do". "Doing" would have consisted of calling in help, international and domestic, immediately - look to recovering costs from BP afterwards if necessary. Constructive "doing" does not consist of kicking ass.

    While there are criticisms of BP who have yet to be proved to be at fault or not unless you go on hearsay, the one thing which has been made clear is that trying to deal with an oil spill way below sea level, but in a medium which happily spreads oil far and wide - there may not be another disaster for the same reason, but if there is another oil spill for any other reason in the sea at that depth - will anyone else cope any better? Probably not. And I'm sure the oil companies have been looking into ways at drilling deeper still.

    President Obama saw how Hurricane Katrina was poorly dealt with, as people didn't "do" - lesson not learnt.

  • Comment number 75.

    Do one of the following:

    1) Liberate Long term ally Britain by accusing Islamic militants of sabotaging BP's Oil Rig.

    2) Impose Sanctions on Iran in response to BP's oil spill and its drastic impact on the environment.

    3) Delay action and stay quite assuming that BP is Israel.

    4) Ask Pakistan to "DO MORE...! Or we bomb you back to stone age! "

  • Comment number 76.

    Ok, Obama, you want to make BP totally culpable and to fine them out of sight for the oil spill. Fine. I assume you will also be backdating claims of compensation to the people of Bhopal for the Union Carbide pesticide leak (a far, far more catastrophic disaster that has seen recent prosecutions), and both Exxon and Amoco (both AMERICAN companies) for the Exxon Valdez and the Amoco Cadiz which wrought great damage too, in their time. Obama's selective memory smacks more of xenophobia and petty, political points scoring than anything substantive or deeply thought out. But then, why break the habit of a presidency? Stop shouting your mouth off and do something rather than just going on about who's backside to kick. People want leadership, not words in this situation and you are delivering nothing.

  • Comment number 77.

    President Obama is free to give his opinion and tell the American people what he intends to do.
    However, BP has stated that they will assume their responsibility (in law I would presume). It may be that BP have no liability at all. President Obamma should stop preaching to possible electers and await the final outcome of this industrial accident.

  • Comment number 78.

    I'm utterly blown away by Obama's concern for the environment, livelihoods and indeed human / non-human lives. His stance against a non-American big corporation is truly upfront and robust.

    For the above reasons I eagerly await his televised speech on Bhopal, and numerous other American corporation environmental damage all over the world.

    Black or otherwise, I was always convinced that Obama is just another big-mouth two faced politician. A white cat or a black cat is still a cat. I'm glad I now have the chance to be confounded, or not.

  • Comment number 79.

    BP should stop all of it's US operations,NOW, stop producing petrol and watch the USA grind to a halt. If a strike at Grangemouth can do that to the UK, what a mess the USA would be in.

  • Comment number 80.

    Obama ought to be asking "What can the US do to help?" and mobilising the considerable US expertise in dealing with accidents in the oil industry.

    The way he's carrying on at the moment, anyone would think that BP was denying all responsibility and refusing to do anything about it, instead of accepting that as the accident happened to a rig that they were renting, it's up to them to lead the efforts to curb the spill and deal with the aftermath.

  • Comment number 81.

    I have been listening to Obama's increasingly shrill protests against BP over the weeks and his early insistence on calling the company British Petroleum even though it changed its name over a decade ago and has since been a multinational company with 53% of its shares American-owned. He has been virulently anti-British over this debacle and is using the nation as a scapegoat for his own inadequacies. He has behaved as the worst form of pedgagogue and rabble-stirrer and has been competely unstatesman-like and should resign now.

  • Comment number 82.

    President Obama should respect the law like everybody else. BP have accepted responsibility and therefore must meet all reasonable claims in accordance therewith. To introduce an impartial panel to deal with those claims is unacceptable. BP will be insured for such eventualities and it is up to the Insurers to consider, and where valid, settle such claims.

  • Comment number 83.

    There is huge hypocrisy in this affair. The USA is addicted to ludicrously cheap petrol. So someone has to go and find more in ever more difficult places. When they do and there is an accident, it is suddenly no fault of the USA. Remarkable.

  • Comment number 84.

    Now that we have all these emails showing that BP executives told the men who were building the well, to take dangerous short cuts, and thought they were told that the cementing would not be safe, they were to go ahead anyway, because it would "probably be safe", there is no way to say BP was not responsible. Everyone else who was involved in building the well, kept telling BP that there were problems, but BP kept saying, "it is our well, and you will do it our way", and that was that. BP is responsible, because they insisted it be built their way. They wanted to have it built faster and cheaper. They took many unsafe shortcuts, and there are emails and testimony to prove it. They took all the shortcuts they could think of. Where they should have put in two sets of stabilizers for cementing, they put in one. They didn't test for gas.

    The US has three coasts, and BP has destroyed one. They got their license to drill based on their representation that they could take care of a disaster like this. Bush's people who were still in place, accepted BP's word for it. Are you saying that we have to assume that every corporation from the UK isn't telling the truth? Is that what you folks want us to do, and give you heavier scrutiny? We will be looking closer, and getting off oil energy too. But stand up. BP is responsible for this disaster that will destroy the lives of millions, not to mention the whole Gulf Coast of America. Go look at a map. See how big we are? Go look at the British Isles. See how big you are not. We are losing a whole coast.

    Stop feeling sorry for BP. They are the guilty party here. It's like you are feeling sorry for the mugger, not the victim.

  • Comment number 85.

    US should help the UK ... are we not allies? How many times have we helped and assisted the US at a drop of a hat? Little UK, a fraction of the size in many ways... always there like the loyal dog... well it’s about time Obama and the US chucked us a bone.

  • Comment number 86.

    So, once again Obama flaps his lips and we all feel the draught. I'm confused - he's going to meet senior BP executives TODAY and feels his speech to be a nice preamble to a constructive meeting? Also, he has already found BP guilty BEFORE any senate hearing takes place - how can that now be a fair hearing? Am I missing something about American justice? Obama has left himself with nowhere to go once the spill is stopped and BP has time to take a breath and start defending itself. I wonder if the office of the President will be willing to recompense the company and shareholders for losses suffered on the basis of his immoderate uninformed spillages??

  • Comment number 87.

    Simple plan of action for the President of the USA dealing with the oil spill:- 1. Make it completely clear to the management of BP that the ultimate bill will come to them. 2. Sit down with BP management to set out a workable cleanup plan.
    3. Employ the best. 4. GO ON HOLIDAY.

    The last thing that anyone needs when dealing with any crisis is to have some 'VIP' looking down the hole in the road. If Mr O really wants to help he could don overalls and grab a muck rake down on some beach. He might even persuade some of his hanger-ons to 'do something' rather than just carp on about making someone pay. Rhetoric doesn't make anything better.

  • Comment number 88.

    "Collateral damage"
    "Friendly Fire"
    Liberty ship design and manufacturing flaw

    C'mon folks, lets build one big list to get dealt with under identical process

  • Comment number 89.

    "What action should Obama take?"

    Well he could try keeping his mouth shut, thereby stopping people from seeing how vacuous he is.

    For Obama this isn't about the environment or marine life or even people's livelihoods, it's about money and another opportunity for him to try to look big, tough and statesmanlike.

    You've failed with me, chum, I can see straight through you.

  • Comment number 90.

    I couldn't care less what Obama does. But BP should wash their hands of America and walk away, whist sticking two fingers up at any law suits the yanks care to throw at them. Oil spill? Couldn't have happened to a nicer country...

  • Comment number 91.

    Obama as a politician can attack and threaten the bigbusiness. As the president of the USA which is based on capitalist system from top to bottom, he can`t do much! Wait for something else to happen sothat people`s attention will be diverted!

  • Comment number 92.

    President Obama's capability as a president will be judged after he leaves office. But his capability at stopping an oil leak from a faulty well is known now, zero.
    I am afraid he is just another politician making political meaningless statements. He states that America must stop being reliant on fossil fuels. He first needs to tell us how his government will be reducing their oil, gas and coal based energy consumption. Is he proposing that all American cities be emptied of people similar to Pol Pot's Cambodian fantasy of an agriculteral people? It is a fact that the worlds current high populations with high living standards were brought about by the availability of energy from coal and oil.

  • Comment number 93.

    The President's rhetoric is unhelpful when BP is already doing all it can and has already made clear that it will meet reasonable costs voluntarily. You have to question whether this demagogic approach does not make the US a bad place to do business. When all is done, the leak has been capped, the spill has been cleaned up, and people have been compensated, I suspect BP will gradually and quietly divest its US interests and put its huge resources to work elsewhere.

  • Comment number 94.

    Anyone remember Occidental Oil and Piper Alpha? That was a US owned rig that blew up killing 160+ people. In the NORTH SEA. That was also a huge disaster, but the UK didn't go mouthing off and scoring political points, it dealt with the disaster.
    When BP is NOT doing what it's committed, then the Americans can take action - until then, they should work with not against the oil industry to fight this hideous mess.
    Mouthy Americans are a fact of life unfortunately, but they never focus on their own faults (like the fact there is drilling in the Gulf in the first place is because the USA that uses by far the most oil of any nation and wants it's cheap gas). It's always someone else's fault. [not that BP isn't partly responsible here, of course]. Why no big fuss over the two US companies that are also massively at fault? Nationalism? Protectionism? Surely not... more likely it's the huge amounts of cash they give to the US political parties that keeps Obama happy.

  • Comment number 95.

    The US only cares because this is happening on their soil; if this was off the coast of the Middle East, or even the UK, they wouldn't bat an eyelid so long as the oil kept coming in.

  • Comment number 96.

    I would like for the US President Barack Obama to work with BP and other technicians to ensure that the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill is contained. After this, they can sit and discuss the modalities of paying for damages.

  • Comment number 97.

    Obamas options are limited. However the first thing he should do is implement a carbon tax on petrol as a first step to wean the US off of gas guzzlers.

  • Comment number 98.

    Rig operated by Transocean, an AMERICAN COMPANY. Undersea work by Halliburton, an AMERICAN Company.

    Obama is taking the offensive in this to cover up the fact that it is AMERICAN companies who have both the moral and financial obligations to put this right.

    Maybe he's forgotten the AMOCO (American Oil Company)spill in the North Sea. It took France 12 years to receive compensation from America for that, and then they ended up with only 50% of the compensation due to them from AMOCO.

    Mr. Cameron, you owe it to Britain to stand up for BP and ensure that the USA does not bully them into assuming a responssibilty that is not theirs to take.

  • Comment number 99.

    The Nigerian Delta has been turned into a toxic wasteland of post-apocalyptic proportions, but there is no outrage. Now that the usa is starting to suffer, there is outrage.

    It seems to be that the rest of the world can burn, so long as the united states is left untouched. While I have sympathy for the individuals who suffer from such accidents, I can have none for those who harbour such attitudes.

  • Comment number 100.

    I think he needs to establish the facts first

    1) What was the cause
    2) Could it have been prevented
    3) Could it have been predicted
    4) What would other companies have done
    5) Why is no one else trying to stop this…if it is so bad?

    Without establishing any facts, it is all the usual firing from hip rhetoric that the POTUS gives the eager listing world.


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