Obama: Oil Spill 'Worst Environmental Disaster' U.S. Has Ever Faced

Speaking from the Oval Office, the president said he'll tell BP to set aside money to make things right, and slammed MMS.

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A short and simple speech could have been shorter and simpler.

In a 17-minute speech, his first Oval Office address, President Barack Obama told the nation the oil spill resulting from the April 20 explosion at BP's Deepwater Horizon Drilling rig is "the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced," and is like an "epidemic, one that we'll be fighting for months and even years." An army of 30,000 government workers has been enlisted to fight that epidemic, he said, and in addition:

We've directed BP to mobilize additional equipment and technology. And in the coming weeks and days, these efforts should capture up to 90 percent of the oil leaking out of the well. This is until the company finishes drilling a relief well later in the summer that's expected to stop the leak completely ...

The president promised a housecleaning of Mineral Management Service, the government agency responsible for regulating (or not) the oil companies. And as for Carl-Henric Svanberg:

Tomorrow, I will meet with the chairman of BP and inform him that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company's recklessness.

And this fund will not be controlled by BP. In order to ensure that all legitimate claims are paid out in a fair and timely manner, the account must and will be administered by an independent third party.

President Obama said he has charged Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to develop a long-range plan to "restore the unique beauty and bounty of this region." We're not sure how that's supposed to happen with upwards of 2.5 million gallons of crude gushing into the Gulf Coast region each day.

For more of the president's speech, read the transcript.