BP oil spill: Obama calls for new tougher regulations

Gulf oil rig explosion is the worst environmental disaster in US history.

Updated: Jun 11, 2010, 09:14 AM IST

Washington: US President Barack Obama on Thursday called for new tougher regulations in the wake of the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, the worst environmental disaster in the American history.

Following a meeting with a bipartisan delegation of Congressional leaders at the White House, Obama said the current laws are not adequate for a crisis of this magnitude.

The US President gave the Congressional leaders an update of the measures taken by the government, the single largest national response in US history to an environmental disaster.

"The Oil Pollution Act was passed at a time when people didn`t envision drilling four miles under the sea for oil," he said.

"It`s important that based on facts, based on experts, based on a thorough examination of what went wrong here and where things have gone right but also where things have gone wrong, that we update the laws to make sure that we are in a much better position to respond to any such crisis in the future," Obama said.

He said he was pleased to see bipartisan agreement that the government have to deal with the crisis in an aggressive, forward-leaning way.

Obama emphasised that it is important to finish the financial regulatory bill.

"The financial markets deserve certainty. But more importantly, the American people deserve to know there is a regulatory framework that is in place that protects consumers, investors, ordinary folks, and assures taxpayers that they never again are put in a position where they`ve got to bail out somebody because of their irresponsible acts," he said.

The US President said he would be meeting a group of CEOs from a wide range of different industries who have come up with a series of recommendations about how the country needs to move much more aggressively on the energy agenda.

"Although obviously our immediate task is to deal with a crisis that is affecting millions of people down in the Gulf, we can`t keep our eye off the importance of having an energy policy that meets the needs of the next generation and ensures that the United States is the leader when it comes to energy policy," Obama said.