WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama, seeking to show command of a crisis that has exasperated the U.S., will head back to the state of Louisiana on Friday to review efforts to stop the disastrous Gulf oil spill.
The White House announced Obama’s trip but did not yet release details of exactly where he will go. The president will be in Louisiana for the day on Friday, flying there from Chicago, where he will be spending the long holiday weekend, and returning there at night.
The trip comes as Obama’s administration is under mounting fire over how well it is overseeing a complex fix-it effort.
Millions of gallons (liters) of oil are still gushing into the Gulf following an oil rig explosion on April 20.
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The administration’s stand is that oil giant BP LLC is the legally responsible party but that the government is aggressively overseeing the company’s efforts to plug the leaking oil well and working to mitigate the impact of the spill.
As impatience grows with BP and federal authorities, Obama is expected to speak about the crisis and take questions about it on Thursday at the White House, when he will receive a report from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
In announcing Obama’s Friday trip to the Gulf Coast, the White House contended it has “mobilized one of the largest responses to a catastrophic event in history.”
The consequences of the accident — for the environment, the economy, BP and Obama — keep growing. Tuesday marked 35 days since the rig blew up.
This will be Obama’s second trip to the region since the troubles began.
He went on May 2 and soberly warned of a “massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.”