Barack Obama said Tuesday that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is a reminder that the economy, which is showing signs of recovery two years after the recession, can be walloped at any time by a sudden and costly crisis, AP reported.
Obama told a group of business leaders that dealing with the spill and its fallout will be a significant challenge, and pledged to continue exploring all options for replacing fisheries and tourism jobs now threatened by the growing oil slick.
"We are committed to preventing as much of the economic damage as possible by working to contain the impact of this potentially devastating spill," Obama told the annual meeting of the Business Council, an association of chief executive officers.
The president said he wants to see the people most affected by the disaster involved in cleaning up the spill. That would be one way to possibly soften the sting of potential job losses in the fishing and tourism industries along a stretch of the Gulf Coast from
Louisiana to Florida.
The spill was caused by an April 20 explosion on a
BP PLC drilling rig off the Louisiana coast that killed 11 workers. An undersea well that has yet to be shut off or capped is spewing 200,000 gallons of crude daily into Gulf waters.
"We will continue to explore every possible option to create jobs and support local economies in the Gulf while continuing to monitor any potential effects on the national economy," Obama said. "But obviously this is going to be a significant challenge."