President Obama visited the shores of Fourchon Beach, Louisiana, where the 39-day long BP oil spill is having a profound impact.
“I take responsibility,” Obama said. “It is my job to make sure that everything is done to shut this down.”
The president met with U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen and Louisiana’s Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph, who are facing the spill’s effects locally.
Allen said local responders from the state, parish and federal governments are using modern technology to track the oil containment booms daily.
“If oil were to get into the bay over here,” Allen said, “which is very, very sensitive, they’d have to have local shrimp boats that are standing by to deploy the boom.”
Booms are buoyant tubing used throughout the Gulf region to absorb the oil and contain the spill from reaching areas, acting as a fence around fragile ecosystems. Obama said he saw several “tar balls” washing up on shore where they can be picked up and disposed of.
“More than anything else, this economic and environmental tragedy – and it’s a tragedy – underscores the urgent need for this nation to develop clean, renewable sources of energy,” Obama said Thursday. “Doing so will not only reduce threats to our environment, it will create a new, homegrown, American industry that can lead to countless new businesses and new jobs.”