Hardline Obama vows to ‘make BP pay’

By politics.co.uk staff

US president Barack Obama used his first televised Oval Office address to deliver his harshest words yet against BP.

The energy giant has become a focus for transatlantic tensions in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion 58 days ago, which has caused a huge environmental disaster.

Mr Obama, who has come under pressure for not criticising BP sufficiently, told Americans he would “make BP pay for the damage their company has caused”.

BP’s chairman Tony Heyward will meet with Mr Obama today to discuss the president’s demands.

Compensation for workers and business owners “who have been harmed as a result of his company’s recklessness” will be administered by an independent third party, the president said.

A longer-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan, which will be designed by states, local communities, tribes, fishermen, businesses, conservationists and other Gulf residents, is now being developed.

“BP will pay for the impact this spill has had on the region,” Mr Obama added.