President Barack Obama gave the leaders of an independent commission investigating the Gulf oil spill marching orders Tuesday — to thoroughly examine the disaster and its causes to ensure the nation never faces such a catastrophe again.
Obama spoke in the Rose Garden after meeting with the co-chairs of the commission — Bob Graham, a former Florida governor and U.S. senator; and William K. Reilly, a former head of the Environmental Protection Agency,
“They have my full support to follow the facts wherever they lead, without fear or favor,” Obama said.
The president said if laws are insufficient, they’ll be changed. He said if government oversight wasn’t tough enough, that will change, too. And Obama said if laws were broken, those responsible will be brought to justice.
Obama directed the co-chairs to report back in six months “with options for how we can prevent and mitigate the impact of any future spills that result from offshore drilling.”
In a sign of an increasingly assertive administration role, Attorney General Eric Holder visited the Gulf Coast on Tuesday to see areas affected by the oil spill and to meet with state attorneys general and U.S. prosecutors.