President Obama takes questions on new oil industry regulations

May 27, 2010

President Obama will take questions today about the

A few highlights:

-Obama went further than expected on the new restrictions by announcing a suspension of existing exploratory drilling in the Gulf's deep waters. It had been previously reported that he would call for a six-month moratorium on new permits, which he also did.

-He attempted throughout the hour-long appearance to make clear his administration, not BP, is in charge of the response. He also spoke harshly about past federal regulation of the oil industry, at one point calling it "cozy and sometimes corrupt."

-But after asserting how involved he has been in the response, Obama said he did not know that Elizabeth Birnbaum, director of the Minerals Management Service, was asked to resign this morning.

-Much of the news conference involved long, sometimes technical responses from the president. At the end, though, Obama struck an emotional note that many in the Gulf have been looking for.

Did this do enough to slow the flow of criticism aimed at the administration, or does it largely depend on if the "top kill" works or not?

Is it true that the Federal Government, complicit with BP, is allowing for the restriction of press access to the site above and beyond what is necessary to assure safety?

Given the examples of MMS conflicts, will drilling permits that have already been issued be re-visited and reviewed before drilling begins?

In your opinion, is there more the administration could have done or not?

How many other employees at Interior are working on their resumes right now?

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Scott Wilson
Staff writer Scott Wilson is a White House reporter for The Washington Post.

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