WASHINGTON, DC - Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement on the President Obama's address to the nation on the Gulf Oil Spill:
"Tonight, President Obama spoke on the BP oil spill that is devastating the Gulf Coast region. While BP is responsible for this unprecedented environmental disaster, the federal government is rightly judged on its ability to coordinate the response to this emergency and its aftermath.
"Unfortunately, oil continues to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, so our top priority is holding BP accountable for stopping the spill so that we can focus on cleanup and recovery. I appreciate the President’s attention to the disaster and his repeated trips to see the damage firsthand on the Gulf Coast; however, the public needs additional assurance that, all aspects of the spill response, from cleanup to claims, are being enforced and coordinated by the federal government. Congress is working to meet that goal, conducting investigations that have led to the public release of key information, including the spill’s true size, working to ensure that BP foots the bill for the disaster, and strengthening oversight of offshore drilling. The Gulf Coast’s workers and families have paid a heavy and unfair price for the oil spill, and our work is not complete until they get the help they need.
"Finally, this disaster demonstrates the importance of a move to a clean energy economy. Clean energy has the potential to create millions of American jobs, reduce harms to our environment and the communities that rely on it, and make America the world leader in the most important emerging sector of the 21st-century economy. I hope that a strong national commitment to clean energy is one of the few positives we can take from this disaster."