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AP fact check on Obama's oil spill speech: 'Left blanks'

Obama speaking from Oval Office
President Barack Obama is photographed after delivering a televised address from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday June 15, 2010. President Obama said the nation will continue to fight the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for "as long as it takes." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Associated Press's Calvin Woodward did a fact check on President Barack Obama's oil spill speech and compared his statements to what facts we know and what history teaches us.

OBAMA: Tomorrow, I will meet with the chairman of BP and inform him that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company's recklessness. And this fund will not be controlled by BP. In order to ensure that all legitimate claims are paid out in a fair and timely manner, the account must and will be administered by an independent,

Woodward warns, "An independent arbiter is no more bound to the government's wishes than an oil company's," he then uses the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska as his historic reference.

It took 20 years to sort through liability after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, and in the end, punitive damages were slashed by the courts to about $500 million from $2.5 billion. Many people who had lost their livelihoods in the spill died without ever seeing a check.

OBAMA: "In the coming days and weeks, these efforts should capture up to 90 percent of the oil leaking out of the well."

On this point BP and the President share the stance that if all goes as planned, it is conceivable they could capture 90 percent of the oil leaking out of the well. Woodward points out that "so far, little has gone as planned." The have yet to stop the flow and estimates have the escape rate of the leak at possibly as much as 60,000 barrels of toxic oil per day.

President Obama's speech didn't go far enough for progressives or conservatives, as MSNBC's Keith Olbermann said after the speech, "It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days," he added, "Nothing specific at all was said." Apparently Olbermann saw more blanks than Woodward, but the general mood in the media is one of dissatisfaction with the President's speech.

To read the entire article by Calvin Woodward of the Associated Press, "FACT CHECK: Obama left blanks in oil spill speech" click here.

Photo credit: President Barack Obama is photographed after delivering a televised address from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday June 15, 2010. President Obama said the nation will continue to fight the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for "as long as it takes." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Sources: Real Clear Politics.com, Associated Press on Yahoo News

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