A cross with the words "promises made," referring to promises made by BP PLC and government officials responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, stands in front of a pile of crosses symbolizing things that were impacted by the spill in a front yard in Grand Isle, Louisiana. (Photo: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Before leaving for the West Coast Wednesday morning, President Obama issued a statement acknowledging the one-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill that killed eleven men and spilled approximately 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
“That catastrophic event deeply affected the lives of millions of Americans, from local fishermen to restaurant and hotel owners and small businesses throughout the region. From the beginning, my administration brought every available resource to bear, amassing the largest oil spill response in our nation’s history,” Obama said. “At the height of the response, approximately 48,000 men and women worked tirelessly to mitigate the worst impacts of the spill. While we’ve made significant progress, the job isn’t done.”
Close to 2,000 responders continue to work on Gulf recovery efforts and the administration is committed to “holding BP and other responsible parties fully accountable for the damage they’ve done and the painful losses that they’ve caused.” Obama also said a "watchful eye" will be kept on the work that must be done to make the Gulf Coast stronger than it was before the disaster.
The administration is monitoring seafood to ensure its safety and implementing “aggressive new reforms” for offshore drilling in the Gulf region. In addition, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson is leading a task force of local scientists, experts and citizens to coordinate a long-term restoration effort.