On the night of June 15, President Obama delivered his first speech to the nation from the Oval Office, addressing the Gulf oil spill disaster. However, the speech garnered a fair amount of criticism.
The president vowed to "make BP pay" for the damage the catastrophe is causing. He also used the opportunity to call again for switching to clean and renewable energy sources, and for a new energy policy for America.
"The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now," Obama said, adding that "now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash America’s innovation and seize control of our own destiny."
His comments were endorsed by Alliance for Climate Protection founder and chairman Al Gore who said that this was the time for the Senate to act.
However, the speech was blasted by some Republicans such as former presidential candidate Gary Bauer who said that Obama’s remarks ignored America’s energy needs.
"To pretend that wind or solar energy can replace oil is to ignore the millions of dollars and many years of research that have proven that these two sources of energy are likely to provide an insignificant percentage of our overall energy needs for decades to come," he stated.
Some commentators have also accused Obama of providing few details on how he plans to stop the ongoing leak.