WASHINGTON (AP) - Dedicating new urgency to the Gulf oil spill, President Barack Obama accused BP of "recklessness" in the first Oval Office address of his presidency Tuesday 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 PLC -- in concert with local states, communities, fishermen, conservationists and residents "as soon as possible."
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.