BP has agreed to pay $20 billion into an independently run fund to meet the costs of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, bowing to tough demands from President Barack Obama.
The deal was revealed on June 16 as top executives from the British energy giant met at the White House with Obama to discuss the crisis, which has triggered the nation's worst environmental disaster.
Earlier on June 16, a senior Obama aide said the White House will use every "legal device" to ensure that BP will front the clean-up costs in the Gulf states.
In his nationally televised speech yesterday, Obama said the tragedy unfolding in the Gulf should spark Congress to embrace a "clean energy" future that eases dependence on oil and other fossil fuels.
"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. Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash American innovation and seize control of our own destiny," Obama said.
Obama said he had directed BP to mobilize additional equipment and technology that should capture up to 90 percent of the oil leaking out of the well.
His speech came as a team of U.S. scientists upped their high-end estimate of the amount of crude oil flowing from the well by 50 percent, to a range of 35,000 to 60,000 barrels per day.
compiled from agency reports