President Obama reiterated on Tuesday the administration’s commitment to determine the cause of last month’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, referring to the crisis as "the greatest environmental disaster of its kind in our [nation's] history." Obama also vowed to bring to justice anyone who may have committed a crime by contributing to the spill.
"If our laws were broken leading to this death and destruction, my solemn pledge is that we will bring those responsible to justice on behalf of the victims of this catastrophe and the people of the Gulf region," he said.
Meanwhile, Obama suggested that insufficient regulation may have been partially responsible for the disaster, and that stronger government oversight may be necessary in the future, according to The New York Times.
The president has directed an independent commission to explore what caused the spill, and what role the Federal government should play in helping to prevent a recurrence of the tragedy. The news conference came just three days after BP announced that its latest efforts to stop the spill had failed.
Obama, who has been outspokenly critical of the oil giant’s response to the disaster, said the news was "as enraging as it is heartbreaking."