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Obama on oil spill: Progress but 'job isn't done'

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • It's the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion
  • President Obama cites robust response to the oil spill
  • He said the "catastrophic event" affected millions of Americans

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama said Wednesday that "significant progress" has been made in tackling the Gulf oil spill disaster, but he stressed that the "job isn't done."

He made the statement one year after the Deepwater Horizon oil platform explosion, which killed 11 men. BP's Macondo well blew out, resulting in an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

Obama said his administration has "brought every available resource" in what he called the "largest oil spill response" in American history, with about 48,000 people working to deal with the spill "at the height of the response."

And a year later, he said, "nearly 2,000 responders are actively working in the Gulf to aid in the ongoing recovery efforts."

"That catastrophic event deeply affected the lives of millions of Americans, from local fishermen to restaurant and hotel owners and small businesses throughout the region," he said.

"We're monitoring seafood to ensure its continued safety and implementing aggressive new reforms for offshore oil production in the Gulf so that we can safely and responsibly expand development of our own energy resources. And EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is leading a task force to coordinate the long-term restoration effort based on input from local scientists, experts, and citizens," Obama said.

Obama said the administration is holding "BP and other responsible parties fully accountable" for the losses and damage.

"The events that unfolded on April 20, 2010 and the oil spill that followed underscores the critical link between the environment and economic health of the Gulf. My Administration is committed to doing whatever is necessary to protect and restore the Gulf Coast.

"Today, we remember the eleven lives lost as a result of this tragic event and thank the thousands of responders who worked to mitigate this disaster. But we also keep a watchful eye on the continuing and important work required to ensure that the Gulf Coast recovers stronger than before."