President Obama accused BP of "recklessness" in the first Oval Office address of his presidency tonight and swore not to rest until the company has paid for the damage it has caused to lives, businesses, and shorelines. He announced that he had asked former Mississippi Gov. Ray Mabus to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan—to be funded by BP—in concert with local states, communities, fishermen, conservationists and residents "as soon as possible." (Read the full text of his speech here.)
Obama did not detail what this plan should include. But he declared to his prime-time television audience, "We will make BP pay." Much of the speech was devoted to a recitation of steps Obama's government has taken to clean the oil, help the distraught people of the Gulf, and prevent another environmental crisis. "We will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long it takes," Obama said. He also emphasized that the US must end its "addiction to fossil fuel." Also today, the White House picked a former Justice Department official to run the drilling oversight agency, notes the Washington Post.
(Read more Gulf oil spill stories.)