GRAND ISLE, La. - President Barack Obama said Saturday that he will stand with Gulf Coast residents "until they are made whole" from the oil spill catastrophe.
Obama recorded his weekly radio and Internet address from this barrier island town he visited Friday on his third trip to the Gulf since an April 20 drilling rig explosion unleashed a gusher of crude into the waters there.
He spoke of the people he'd met — an oyster fisherman named Floyd whose oyster beds have been destroyed by oil, and Terry, a shrimper who is losing income because shrimp fishing has been shut down.
"These folks work hard," Obama said. "They meet their responsibilities. But now because of a manmade catastrophe — one that's not their fault and that's beyond their control — their lives have been thrown into turmoil."
"It's brutally unfair. It's wrong. And what I told these men and women — and what I have said since the beginning of this disaster — is that I'm going to stand with the people of the Gulf Coast until they are made whole," the president said.
Obama reiterated some of the steps his administration has taken to respond to the spill, including mobilizing National Guard troops.
And in the increasingly forceful tone he's directing toward BP PLC, the British oil giant that was drilling the well that blew up, Obama said: "We will make sure they pay every single dime owed to the people along the Gulf coast."