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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Obama Will Address U.S. Tuesday On BP Oil Spill Disaster

Obama To Address Nation Tuesday Night On Gulf Oil Spill

President Obama will address the nation Tuesday night to talk about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The 8 p.m. ET speech will take place from the White House shortly after the president returns from a trip to the Gulf.

The speech will be delivered shortly after the president's return from a two-day trip to the Gulf region. He is expected to address efforts to contain the spill, the timeline for capturing the oil, the long-term recovery and restoration of the Gulf region and regulatory reform efforts at the Mineral Management Service.

"This is an ongoing crisis, much like an epidemic," David Axelrod told NBC television's "Meet the Press."

The 10-15 minute speech will also provide more details about a BP escrow fund the president wants established for fishers and trawlers whose livelihoods have been shot as a result of the spill. The administration wants a third-party reclamation process rather than BP managing distribution of funds.

The speech comes as the Obama administration faces criticism for a slow reaction time to the Gulf spill, including the approval for the construction of barriers and assistance to the states. At the same time frustration is growing about the slow pace of the clean-up and BP's inability to stop the flow while the estimates on the leak have grown exponentially.

BP's board is to meet on Monday to discuss deferring its second-quarter dividend and putting the money into escrow until the company's liabilities from the spill are known.

In addition, the president will make clear in his meeting Wednesday with BP's chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, and others about his expectation of BP's responsibility for caring for people affected by the spill.

"Our mission is to hold them accountable in every appropriate way," Axelrod said.

The amount of money set aside will be part of White House discussions with BP executives on Wednesday, but Axelrod said it should be "substantial."

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Sources: CNN, Fox News, Google Maps

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