Published August 04, 2010
The Obama administration claims it has been on top of the Gulf oil spill disaster since "day one." Here's a look at what the president and administration have been doing every day since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded April 20, triggering the massive spill. The following daily updates are based on a review of White House schedules, news releases and news coverage and do not cover every activity in the Gulf or in Washington:
In the Gulf: BP claimed a key milestone Wednesday in the effort to plug its blown-out well as a government report said much of the spilled oil is gone, heartening officials who have taken heat during the tricky cleanup but leaving some Gulf Coast residents still skeptical. BP reported that mud forced down the well overnight was pushing the crude back down to its source for the first time since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off Louisiana on April 20, killing 11 workers.And a federal report being released Wednesday indicated that only about a quarter of the spilled oil remains in the Gulf, with the rest having been contained, cleaned up or otherwise disappeared.
At the White House: President Obama applauded the headway that has been made to stop the worst U.S. oil spill, telling union officials in Washington that the Gulf of Mexico operation is "finally close to coming to an end." He said people's lives "have been turned upside down" as a result of the April 20 BP oil spill, but said he was heartened by indications the spill is, at last, being brought under control.
In the Gulf: Crews prepared to pump mud into the blown-out well, provided a test on the process is successful. Meanwhile, BP announced it had created a new team to accelerate compensation to Gulf businesses.
At the White House: President Obama signed a law reducing disparities between crack and cocaine prison sentences. He was hosting a meeting with "young African leaders" in the East Room of the White House Tuesday afternoon.
In the Gulf: Crews prepared to test whether they could move forward with a plan to pump mud and other material into the blown-out well on the Gulf of Mexico floor. The process known as a "static kill" was being considered as BP neared completion on a pair of relief wells, long seen as the way to choke off the leak for good.
At the White House: President Obama delivered a speech in Atlanta outlining his commitment to ending the war in Iraq.
In the Gulf: Congressional investigators said the Coast Guard routinely approved requests made by BP to use chemical dispersants to break up the oil slicks in the Gulf despite a federal order to use the chemicals sparingly.
At the White House: President Obama played basketball with White House staff members at Fort McNair.
In the Gulf:Tropical Storm Bonnie left crews working to plug the Gulf oil gusher a little memento that is expected to push their work back about a day. Crews found debris in the bottom of the relief well that ultimately will be used to plug the leak for good, retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Friday. The government's point man on the spill said the sediment settled in the relief well last week when crews popped in a plug to keep it safe ahead of Bonnie.
At the White House: President Obama has no public events scheduled.
In the Gulf: BP's new boss says it's time for a "scaleback" in cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Federal officials say there is no way the crude could reach the East Coast. And fishing areas are starting to reopen. There were several signs Friday that the era of thousands of oil-skimming boats and hazmat-suited beach crews is giving way to long-term efforts to clean up, compensate people for their losses and understand the damage wrought. Local fishermen are doubtful, however, and say oil remains a bigger problem than BP and the federal government are letting on.
Other people contend the impact of the spill has been overblown, given that little oil remains on the Gulf surface, but Bob Dudley, who heads BP's oil spill recovery and will take over as CEO in October, rejected those claims.
At the White House:President Obama headed to the heart of the U.S. auto industry to push an important election-year claim: his administration's unpopular auto industry bailout has turned into an economic good-news story.
In the Gulf:Even when the oily sheen starts fading from the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, it manages to become bad news for fishermen. Many of those whose fisheries were shut down by the oil spill have found work skimming oil, putting out boom or ferrying cleanup supplies through BP's Vessels of Opportunity program. But as the crude sinks, evaporates or breaks down, they may be left with nothing to do but wait for their claim checks to arrive and for their fishing grounds to reopen.
At the White House: President Obama delivered an education reform speech Thursday morning at the National Urban League's 100th Anniversary Convention in the nation's capital.Later in the morning, the president met with his national security team to discuss Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the afternoon, he delivered remarks and signed the Tribal Law and Order Act in the East Room.
In the Gulf: With 100 days having passed since the April 20 explosion that triggered the massive leak, oil has mostly stopped collecting at the surface. Scientists, though, are unsure how much is left and where it all is.
At the White House: President Obama was heading to New York City for a taping of "The View" and two Democratic fundraisers.
In the Gulf: BP named its first American CEO, Robert Dudley, who is set to replace Tony Hayward on Oct. 1. The firm also announced a record $17 billion loss in the last quarter.
At the White House: President Obama spoke in the Rose Garden about the Afghanistan war, addressing the leak of thousands of sensitive documents by the online group Wikileaks.org.
In the Gulf: More details emerged about the future of embattled BP CEO Tony Hayward. Sky News reported that Hayward will step down from BP's top post in October and take a job with TNK-BP, the company's joint venture in Russia.
At the White House: President Obama delivered a public statement urging GOP senators to clear the way for a vote on Democrat-backed campaign finance legislation.
In the Gulf: Reports surfaced that BP CEO Tony Hayward would be replaced, likely by Managing Director Bob Dudley. The move comes after Hayward was persistently criticized for his comments on and handling of the BP spill. Meanwhile, crews working to permanently seal the Gulf of Mexico oil leak were back on the scene Sunday after evacuating ahead of Tropical Storm Bonnie. Though the storm fizzled, crews are working hard to finish a relief well before more bad weather disrupts the procedure.
At the White House: President Obama played golf at Andrews Air Force Base.
In the Gulf: Ships steamed to safer waters and coastal workers packed up oil removal operations as remnants of Tropical Storm Bonnie rolled into the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday.
By daybreak, all but a handful of the ships working at the well site were expected to be out of the way of the storm. The mechanical cap that has mostly contained the oil for eight days was left closed, and there was no worry the storm could cause any problems with the plug because it's nearly a mile (1.6 kilometers) below the ocean's surface.
At the White House President Obama has no public events scheduled.
In the Gulf:Ships monitoring BP's broken oil well stood fast Friday as the remnants of Tropical Storm Bonnie blew toward the spill site, threatening to force a full evacuation that would leave engineers clueless about whether a makeshift cap on the gusher was holding. Vessels connected to deep-sea robots equipped with cameras and seismic devices would be among the last to flee and would ride out the rough weather if possible, retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said.
At the White House:President Obama proclaimed a week of "enormous progress" in fixing economic problems and cracking down on Wall Street, prodding the Senate to do even more by passing tax credits for small businesses. Obama went before the cameras to praise a trio of matters he signed into law this week -- an overhaul of financial regulations, an effort to shrink wasteful government payments, and an extension of unemployment benefits for millions of jobless people.
In the Gulf: Dozens of ships were preparing Thursday to pull out of the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm brewed in the Caribbean, halting deep-sea efforts to plug BP's ruptured oil well.
Though the rough weather was hundreds of miles (kilometers) from the spill site, officials ordered technicians to suspend work Wednesday as they would need several days to clear the area. The government's oil spill chief was waiting to see how the storm developed before deciding whether to order the ships to evacuate.
At the White House: President Obama will sign into law a bill that would require U.S. agencies to redouble their efforts to identify and recover billions of dollars lost annually to wasteful spending. He's also meeting with Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
In the Gulf:Tropical rainstorms moving toward the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday threatened to shut down undersea efforts to seal BP's ruptured well, interrupting work just as engineers get close to plugging the leak with mud and cement. A weather system brewing in the Caribbean prompted crews to temporarily cork a relief tunnel deep beneath the sea floor, BP vice president Kent Wells said Wednesday afternoon. The storm is still hundreds of miles away and may never reach the area, but the oil giant doesn't want to risk damaging BP's best bet at permanently sealing the well.
At the White House: President Obama signs financial overhaul bill into law. Receives oil spill briefing.
In the Gulf: The government's oil spill chief tried to tamp down fears Tuesday that BP's capped well is buckling under the pressure, saying that seepage detected along the sea floor less than two miles away is coming from an older well no longer in production.Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen also said at least five leaks have been discovered around the well machinery, but he dismissed them as "very small drips" -- "not unlike an oil leak you might have in your car."
At the White House: President Obama welcomes British Prime Minister David Cameron for his first visit.
In the Gulf: After detecting possible seepage near the blown-out well on the Gulf floor, the federal government on Monday allowed BP to keep its new well cap in place for another day. Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said the firm is monitoring for any new leaks at the site.
At the White House: President Obama, in a morning statement to the press, urged Senate Republicans to support a jobless benefits extension coming up for a vote. He later was hosting the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury in honor of the team's 2009 championship.
In the Gulf: BP said it wants to keep using a new well cap to prevent any more oil from leaking into the Gulf of Mexico. However, administration pointman Thad Allen said the day before that the plan was to use the cap to continue pumping oil to the surface after testing is complete. Allen will make the final call.
At the White House: The Obama family returned to Washington after their vacation in Bar Harbor, Maine.
In the Gulf: Engineers kept vigil Saturday over the massive cap holding back oil from BP's busted Gulf well, their eyes glued to monitors in a faraway control room that displayed pressure readings, temperature gauges and underwater images. Their round-the-clock work deciphering a puzzle of data from undersea robots and instruments at the wellhead is helping BP and the government determine whether the cap is holding tight as the end of a critical 48-hour testing window approaches. Signs so far have been promising but inconclusive.
At the White House: President Obama is on a family vacation in Maine.
In the Gulf: BP says there are no signs that its busted Gulf of Mexico well has started leaking underground more than a day after it was capped. Kent Wells, a BP PLC vice president, said on a Friday evening conference call that engineers are closely monitoring pressure as well as the temperature and sounds around the well.
At the White House:Cheered by a key victory in Congress and good news from the Gulf oil spill zone, a relaxed President Obama began a weekend holiday Friday on a sun-dappled mountain peak overlooking the rocky Atlantic coast.
In the Gulf: BP says oil from its broken well has stopped gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for the first time since April. The announcement Thursday came after company officials said all valves had been shut on a new cap over the busted well in an experiment to stop the spill.
At the White House: President Obama delivered remarks at a groundbreaking ceremony in Michigan.
In the Gulf: As BP waited for the all-clear to resume testing of its new well cap, scientists reportedly found that the spill was beginning the affect the food chain in the Gulf by killing some organisms and triggering others to multiply in the tainted water.
At the White House: President Obama was scheduled to attend a meeting about his administration's cybersecurity efforts. He was set to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and House Democratic leaders later in the day.
In the Gulf: BP decided to delay tests on its new well cap after government officials called for more analysis. The oil firm is hoping to use the cap to be able to stop the oil flow for the first time since the April 20 explosion that triggered the leak.
At the White House: President Obama unveiled his new strategy for fighting HIV/AIDS, calling for reducing new infections by 25 percent over the next five years.
In the Gulf: BP planned to attach a new cap on Monday to the blown-out oil well on the Gulf floor. After attaching the 150,000-pound device, BP planned to test it to see whether it would be able to plug the oil.
At the White House: President Obama was hosting Dominican Republican President Leonel Fernandez at the White House.
In the Gulf: BP was in the process of replacing a leaking cap with what they claimed would be a better containment system. Until that system is in place, though, oil could be seen spewing out of the hole into the Gulf of Mexico -- BP estimated it would take between three and six days to finish the operation.
At the White House: President Obama played golf at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.
In the Gulf:Undersea robots manipulated by engineers a mile above will begin work Saturday removing the containment cap over the gushing well head in the Gulf of Mexico to replace it with a tighter-fitting cap that could funnel all the oil to tankers at the surface. If all goes according to plan, the tandem of the tighter cap and the tankers could keep all the oil from polluting the fragile Gulf as soon as Monday. But it's only a temporary solution. It won't plug the busted well, the leak will get worse before it gets better -- and it remains uncertain that it will succeed. As much as 5 million gallons could gush out between the old cap's removal and the new cap's installation and connection to a ship.
At the White House: President Obama has no public events scheduled.
In the Gulf: The first of two relief wells being drilled to stop the Gulf oil gusher could be done by the end of the month, BP officials say, but if that doesn't succeed, one backup being considered is transferring the crude to non-producing underwater wells that are miles away. BP would run the flow through pipelines across the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, said retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the Obama administration's point man on the crisis.
At the White House: President Obama is wrapping up a two-day swing through Missouri and Nevada with a speech on clean energy.
In the Gulf: A relief well being drilled deep into the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico to shut down the gushing oil well could be completed ahead of a long-set deadline of mid-August only if conditions are ideal. National Incident Commander and retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Thursday that the relief well is expected to intercept and penetrate the Deepwater Horizon well pipe about 18,000 feet (5,500 meters) below sea level within seven to 10 days.
At the White House: President Obama traveled to Kansas City, Mo., to talk about the economy and delivered speeches at back-to-back fundraisers for Senate candidate Robin Carnahan before heading for Las Vegas.
In the Gulf: Oil from the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico is seeping into Lake Pontchartrain north of New Orleans, threatening another environmental disaster for the huge body of water that was rescued from pollution in the 1990s.
At the White House: President Obama will spend part of his day on export promotion as well as the Gulf oil spill. In the morning, Obama will give remarks in the East Room on his administration's commitment to export promotion to grow the economy and support new American jobs. At midday, he and Vice President Biden will get a briefing in the Oval Office on the oil spill.
In the Gulf: Authorities were probing whether tar balls that washed up on the Texas shore came directly from the BP oil spill. The Galveston mayor said he was "cautiously optimistic" the contamination was a fluke, and not a sign of more oil to come.
At the White House: President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House.
In the Gulf: Rough weather and rough waters put a hold on testing for a massive Taiwanese oil skimmer, the latest hope for cleaning up millions of gallons of oil in the Gulf. Meanwhile, the cost to BP of cleaning up the disaster passed the $3 billion mark.
At the White House: No public events.
In the Gulf: A massive oil skimmer was undergoing testing in the Gulf as BP and the Coast Guard hoped to unleash it on the widespread oil spill. The Taiwanese vessel is billed as the biggest oil skimmer in the world and is the latest hope for cleaning up the millions of gallons of oil that have spewed into the waters.
At the White House: President Obama played golf at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland in the morning. He was set to make Fourth of July remarks at the White House in the evening.
In the Gulf: BP is not hiring nearly enough claims adjusters to keep up with a flood of claims from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a consultant hired by the state of Louisiana says. The consultant also says the number of checks being sent spiked less than a week after Louisiana put pressure on the company to speed up claims. And it says the average amount per check peaked when BP gave the state data for large loss claims. A BP spokesman did not comment directly about the findings, but asserted the company has responded appropriately.
At the White House: President Obama is at Camp David but will return in the evening to get ready for July Fourth celebrations at the White House. On Sunday, the first family hosts military heroes and their families for an Independence Day celebration that includes a barbecue, concert and a view of fireworks from the South Lawn. Staff and their families from throughout the administration will also be there. The president will deliver remarks.
In the Gulf: BP and several wildlife protection groups are working out the final details of an agreement to resolve a lawsuit alleging turtles were being killed as BP burned oil from its blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico, attorneys said Friday. The deal under negotiation calls for biologists or other trained observers to be present whenever oil is burned, looking for any turtles trapped in corrals that BP PLC is using to capture and burn oil on the surface of the water, said plaintiffs' attorney William Eubanks.
At the White House:President Obama traveled to Charleston, WV to attend the state memorial service for Sen. Robert Byrd.
In the Gulf: Based on a federal government estimate, the BP spill was expected to become the largest ever in the Gulf by Thursday. By reaching 140 million gallons of leaked oil, it would surpass the prior record set by the Ixtoc I spill three decades ago.
At the White House: President Obama was set to deliver a speech calling for a comprehensive immigration package. He was scheduled to receive a briefing on the oil spill later in the afternoon, before welcoming the winners of the Women's Professional Soccer championship at the White House.
In the Gulf: Small skimmers were forced into port for a second day after winds from Hurricane Alex churned up big waves. Most cleanup crews' work was halted, though the government brought in a massive former tanker to take on oil-skimming duties.
At the White House: President Obama delivered an economic speech and answered questions at a town hall-style meeting in Racine, Wis.
In the Gulf: Concerns continued to grow that Tropical Storm Alex could disrupt cleanup efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. The storm was expected to gain hurricane strength later in the day and while its projected course is not near the spill site the waves generated by high winds could make it impossible to use skimmers and boom.
At the White House: President Obama was scheduled to meet with senators to discuss climate legislation, before meeting with Saudi Arabian King Abdullah and later members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss immigration.
In the Gulf: BP denied a report that CEO Tony Hayward is resigning, as its cleanup costs for the spill reached $2.65 billion. The report came from Russia's RIA Novosti news agency, but BP claimed it was "definitely not correct."
At the White House: President Obama received briefings at the Oval Office and met with senior advisers.
In the Gulf: Tropical Storm Alex was downgraded to a tropical depression as it hit part of Mexico, but concerns remained that the system could become more severe as it tracked toward the Gulf of Mexico. It wasn't expected to hit the site of the spill, but if it changed course or stirred up high winds could grind the clean-up to a halt.
At the White House: President Obama held a series of meetings on the economy in Toronto at the G20 summit. World leaders pledged to cut deficits in half in three years.
In the Gulf: Tropical weather gathering strength in the Caribbean could be the latest bad news for BP crews trying to contain and clean up the massive oil spill in the Gulf, an effort that has been plagued with setbacks for more than two months. It is still too early to tell exactly where tropical storm Alex might go how it might affect oil on and below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, forecasters said.
At the White House: President Obama finishes up with the G8 meeting in Huntsville and then travels south to Toronto where he will participate in the G20 meeting.
In the Gulf: BP claimed that tests show a relief well should be completed by mid-August. The well is considered the best hope for permanently plugging the leaking oil.
At the White House: President Obama traveled to Toronto to meet with G8 leaders.
In the Gulf: A cap was back in place on BP's broken oil well after a deep-sea blunder forced crews to temporarily remove what has been the most effective method so far for containing some of the massive Gulf of Mexico spill. Engineers using remote-controlled submarines repositioned the cap late Wednesday after it had been off for much of the day. It had captured 700,000 gallons of oil in 24 hours before one of the robots bumped into it late in the morning. Bob Dudley, BP's new point man for the oil response, said crews had done the right thing to remove the cap because fluid seemed to be leaking and could have been a safety hazard.
At the White House: President Obama held a bilateral meeting and joint news conference with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
In the Gulf: BP PLC said that managing director Bob Dudley will head the new Gulf Coast Restoration Organization, which is in charge of cleaning up the oil spill. Dudley won't say if the oil giant will resume deepwater drilling in the Gulf, where it's the largest oil and gas producer. Dudley says the company will "step back" from the issue while investigating the April 20 explosion. Dudley told the CBS "Early Show" he has completed taking over the disaster response and cleanup from CEO Tony Hayward. Hayward repeatedly sparked criticism from the Gulf to the U.S. Capitol for missteps and insensitive comments.
At the White House:The White House has promised an immediate appeal of a federal judge's reversal of the administration's six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. And Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he will issue a new order imposing a moratorium that eliminates any doubt it is needed and appropriate. Judge Martin Feldman overturned the ban Tuesday, saying the government simply assumed that because one rig exploded, the others pose an imminent danger, too. The Interior Department had imposed the moratorium last month in the wake of the BP disaster, halting approval of any new permits for deepwater projects and suspending drilling on 33 exploratory wells.
In the Gulf: The owner of the offshore rig involved in the massive Gulf oil spill sharply criticized the U.S. government's six-month ban on deepwater drilling. Transocean Ltd. president Steven Newman told reporters at an oil industry conference in London that there were things the Obama administration "could implement today that would allow the industry to go back to work tomorrow without an arbitrary six-month time limit."
At the White House: President Obama will meet with health insurers and state insurance commissioners at the White House. Afterward, he will speak to reporters about the ongoing effort to implement the new health care overhaul law, and the new benefits it affords to families across the country. He'll deliver his remarks in the East Room. In the evening, Obama will speak to gay activists at the White House. Vice President Biden will also attend the event.
In the Gulf: BP announced that it has spent $2 billion so far to tackle the oil spill in the Gulf and compensate victims. BP also confirmed to Fox News that the company was shifting responsibility for day-to-day handling of the spill from CEO Tony Hayward -- who has come under fire for his remarks about the spill and most recently for spending the weekend at a yacht race -- to Managing Director Robert Dudley.
At the White House: President Obama delivered remarks on fatherhood in Washington, D.C., before hosting a Father's Day "mentoring barbecue" at the White House.
In the Gulf: Louisianans observe a day of prayer over the oil spill.
At the White House: President Obama has no public events scheduled.
In the Gulf:As Gulf states struggled to deal with the up to 120 million gallons of oil that have escaped from a blown-out undersea well, BP chief executive Tony Hayward took time off Saturday to attend a glitzy yacht race off England's Isle of Wright. In a statement, BP described Hayward's day off as "a rare moment of private time" and said that "no matter where he is, he is always in touch with what is happening within BP" and can direct recovery operations if required.
At the White House: President Obama and Vice President Biden went golfing together.
In the Gulf:Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said an estimated 2,000 private boats in the so-called "vessels of opportunity" program will be more closely linked through a tighter command and control structure to direct them to locations less than 50 miles offshore to skim the oil. Allen, the point man for the federal response to the spill, previously had said surface containment efforts would be concentrated much farther offshore.
At the White House:Kenneth Feinberg, who was chosen by President Obama and BP to oversee a program processing claims from the oil spill, said a plan to handle the remaining damage claims will be in place in 30 to 45 days.
In the Gulf:A relief well meant to stanch a gushing flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico is ahead of schedule and could reach its target in three to four weeks, says Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen. He said a rig has drilled nearly 10,000 feet below the seafloor and should be within 10 feet of the existing well within weeks. It will then bore down about 1,000 feet to intersect with the damaged well farther underground. Allen says the final push of drilling is the most difficult. The well originally was slated for completion in mid-August.
On Capitol Hill :A grim-faced BP chief executive Tony Hayward said Thursday he was "deeply sorry" for his company's catastrophic oil spill. "I understand the seriousness of the situation, the frustrations and fears that continue to be voiced," he told a House investigations subcommittee. He also said, "The fire and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon never should have happened and I'm deeply sorry that it did." And, while "we need to know what went wrong" Hayward also said there is still "extensive work to do" before anyone can say what caused the blowout.
In the Gulf: Trying to shrink the amount of crude polluting the Gulf of Mexico, BP started burning oil siphoned from the leaking well. The firm was continuing to work after a lightning strike Tuesday started a fire and forced operations to stop for hours.
At the White House: President Obama announced that BP has agreed to set up a $20 billion account to compensate spill victims following his first meeting with top-level executives. BP's chairman, who publicly apologized for the disaster, also announced that the company would not pay out any more dividends for the rest of the year.
In the Gulf: As BP continued to siphon leaking oil to the surface, the company faced new questions about documents turned up by congressional investigators that suggested BP was cutting corners with the Deepwater Horizon well when it came to design and safety measures.
At the White House: President Obama was scheduled to tour an emergency resource center in Pensacola, Fla., where oil has not yet hit the beaches but local officials are preparing. The president was meeting again with Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, before returning to Washington where he planned to deliver his first Oval Office address to the nation.
In the Gulf: BP submitted a plan to the Coast Guard to speed up the containment of oil gushing out of the blown-out well. Under the new timeline, BP claims it can capture more than 50,000 barrels a day by the end of June. Under the prior timeline, that target wouldn't be reached until mid-July. The company said it plans to bring in vessels from Europe and South America to keep on schedule.
At the White House: President Obama made his fourth trip to the Gulf Coast to survey the oil spill damage. He landed in Biloxi, Miss., to meet with local officials before heading to Alabama. Obama said he was pressing to make sure local residents suffering from economic damages are adequately compensated.
In the Gulf: BP was to submit a plan for a faster containment of the oil after it multiplied estimates last week about the number of barrels pouring into the Gulf each day. Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander, said more than 4,000 vessels are in the water trying to help catch the oil. The oil, however, continues to wash ashore in Alabama. Sensors are also being placed on the sea floor to determine how much oil is being collected.
At the White House: The White House announced that President Obama will address the nation on Tuesday night after his return from a two-day trip to the Gulf region. The White House also is planning an escrow fund for BP to contribute money for local businesses. It will be managed by a third party
In the Gulf: BP announced it will donate its share of the proceeds generated by selling the oil captured from the well to fund efforts to protect and restore wildlife habitat along the Gulf Coast. But the company has not released specifics on how the fund will work and said it doesn't know how much money might be raised. Yet once the oil is brought to shore, it will creep into the world's economic supply chain unnoticed by consumers.
At the White House:Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the Obama administration's point man for the oil spill, said that since the leak began, 4 million gallons (15 million liters) of crude have been siphoned off the leaking well using tubes and caps. An additional 18 million gallons (68 million liters) have been skimmed from the ocean surface, he said. The skimmed liquid is generally only 10 to 15 percent oil.
In the Gulf: The situation turned out to be more dire than previously thought after new scientific estimates were released that showed oil flowing at a rate of up to 2.1 million gallons a day -- more than twice the previous estimate. That means more than 100 million gallons may have already spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.
At the White House: President Obama received a briefing on the oil spill, before meeting with small business owners and delivering remarks about his small business initiative. The White House released new details of the president's upcoming trip to the Gulf, his fourth since the oil rig explosion. Obama plans to visit Gulfport, Miss.; Theodore, Ala.; and Pensacola, Fla., on Monday and Tuesday.
In the Gulf: BP awaited the arrival of a second vessel to help pump more oil from the ruptured well up to the surface -- the containment cap was capturing 630,000 gallons a day, but the second vessel is expected to double that. Meanwhile, local business owners and workers who have filed damage claims were complaining that BP is slow to respond and not paying them enough for their losses.
At the White House: President Obama was scheduled to meet in the afternoon with the families of those killed on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. He was also receiving a briefing on the oil spill in the morning and meeting with business leaders and energy experts to discuss energy reform after his meeting with the families.
In the Gulf: BP said it is dialing back a prediction by its chief operating officer that the leaking oil would be reduced to a "relative trickle" by next week. COO Doug Suttles now says it will take more time to reach that point.
At the White House: Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who is heading the U.S. oil spill response, said the containment operation is now catching up to 630,000 gallons (2.3 million liters) a day and that the amount could nearly double by next week as processing of the captured oil is expanded.
In the Gulf: While the wellhead has been capped, oil that was still leaking and oil that has already leaked was separating and spreading out along the Gulf shore. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen warned the day before that the slick is no longer a "large, monolithic spill." Rather, it is an "aggregation of hundreds or thousands of patches of oil that are going a lot of different directions." Local officials continued to express concerns about the impact the spill would have on the economy as tourism season begins.
At the White House: President Obama was receiving a briefing on the spill in the morning before leaving to conduct a "tele-town hall meeting" on health care issues concerning seniors. He and first lady Michelle Obama were holding a congressional picnic at the White House later in the day.
In the Gulf: Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen reported that the cap on the wellhead was capturing 460,000 gallons of oil a day -- up from 250,000 on Friday. At that rate, the cap could be diverting as little as 37 percent or as much as 77 percent of the oil leaking from the Gulf floor. Patches of oil were spreading out all along the Gulf region. Florida's Panama City Beach was expected to get hit by oil within 72 hours, while Pensacola Beach continued to have tar balls wash ashore.
At the White House: President Obama and top federal officials were briefed in Washington by Allen on the BP spill. The president said the Gulf region will "bounce back" from the crisis and be "stronger than ever." Obama was scheduled to participate in a high school graduation ceremony in Kalamazoo, Mich., later in the evening.
In the Gulf: BP CEO Tony Hayward said the container collected 10,500 barrels in 24 hours. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said the spill is killing tourism though the beaches in his state are not suffering badly from the oil. National Incident Commander Adm. Thad Allen told morning news shows that progress is being made but the relief well is the ultimate solution.
At the White House: More Coast Guard are being sent to the region for direct oversight of the contractors. Allen said he reports to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and President Obama but he is the on-scene coordinator and he makes the calls in the gulf.
In the Gulf: BP worked on its latest attempt to tame the runaway well by capping it and trying to siphon off some of the crude. The damaged rig has disgorged at least 22 million gallons of crude in the Gulf.
At the White House: In his weekly radio and Internet address recorded from the Gulf, President Obama promised to fight the oil spill and maintained his increasingly forceful tone toward BP.
In the Gulf: BP engineers adjusted a sophisticated cap over the Gulf oil gusher, trying to collect the crude now fouling four states. Engineers hoped to close several open vents on the cap throughout the day in the latest attempt to contain the oil.
At the White House: President Obama was in Louisiana, his second trip in a week and the third since the disaster unfolded.
In the Gulf: BP CEO Tony Hayward hailed the company's work after underwater robots successfully sheared off a busted oil pipe spewing millions of gallons of crude into the Gulf, telling reporters that the company would have a "fully sealed" containment system in place by the end of June.
At the White House: The White House announced President Obama will return to the Louisiana Gulf Coast Friday, his third trop to the region since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion on April 20.
In the Gulf: BP's effort to contain the oil gusher hit a snag when a saw became stuck in a thick pipe on a blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said the goal was to free the saw and finish the cut later in the day.
At the White House: The Justice Department has announced it started criminal and civil probes into the spill, although the department did not name specific targets for prosecution.
In the Gulf: BP is moving to start its first major pipe cut as soon as Wednesday, after which they will attempt to place a cap-like containment device over the leaking riser that would siphon the mixture to the surface.
At the White House: President Obama gave the leaders of an independent commission investigating the Gulf oil spill marching orders to thoroughly examine the disaster and its causes to ensure that the nation never faces such a catastrophe again. He said if any laws were broken, people will be prosecuted.
In the Gulf: Transocean, which owned the rig that it leased to BP, said it would like its liability limited. The beach at Grand Isle, La., which was hit with oil from the spill, and other areas along the coast were opened but swimming and fishing was prohibited.
At the White House: The White House confirmed that its national incident commander Thad Allen will begin on Tuesday to hold daily press briefings from the scene of the spill. The Justice Department announced Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. attorneys will meet with state attorneys general and hold a press conference on Tuesday.
In the Gulf: BP says it will try another containment effort beginning on Monday or Tuesday.
At the White House: Obama remained in Chicago for the Memorial Day weekend vacation. The White House released a summary of a discussion between Obama and chief liaison Thad Allen, which said the government is tripling its environmental cleanup team in areas affected by the spill. Environmental adviser Carol Browner appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press." She said 150 government scientists are on the case.
In the Gulf: BP offered few details on its latest bid to plug the well as progress was difficult to measure from BP's "spillcam" of mud, gas and oil billowing from the seafloor.
At the White House: Obama returns to Chicago for his Memorial Day weekend vacation.
In the Gulf: BP continues to try the "top kill" method, but also tries shooting rubber and other man-made "junk" into the well.
At the White House: Obama tours the Louisiana coastline. He says the federal government is treating the spill as its highest priority -- he says the government has deployed 1,400 National Guard troops, 1,400 vessels and 3 million feet of boom
In the Gulf: BP continues to shoot heavy mud into the well, a process that appears to be making progress.
At the White House: Several developments related to the spill emerge in Washington. Minerals Management Service director Elizabeth Birnbaum resigns. The Obama administration announces new restrictions on offshore oil drilling, canceling and delaying certain projects. Obama holds a major press conference in which he declares the federal government is "in charge" and pledges to stop the leak. Obama leaves for a family vacation in Chicago at night.
In the Gulf: BP attempts to use the "top kill" method to shoot mud into the well. Meanwhile, BP says 25,000 claims for economic losses have been submitted, and that it has already paid close to $30 million.
At the White House: Obama visits a solar facility in Fremont, Calif.
In the Gulf: BP agrees to show a live feed of the "top kill" procedure under pressure from the Obama administration.
In the Gulf: BP continues to prepare for the "top kill" procedure, as oil moves deeper into the Louisiana marshes.
At the White House: Obama meets with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano lead a Senate delegation to the Gulf region.
In the Gulf: BP says it will take at least another two days before crews can start to implement the "top kill" plan to plug the leaking well. BP continues to siphon out some oil from the leak.
At the White House: Obama orders top administration officials back to the Gulf to monitor the response.
In the Gulf: BP says it intends to continue using chemical dispersants after the EPA raises concerns about their long-term effects. Oil continues to wash ashore.
At the White House: Obama announces a presidential commission to investigate the disaster. He says in his weekly radio address that the panel, which is given six months to complete its work, is intended to figure out the "root causes" of the explosion and figure out how to make offshore drilling safer. The president speaks at the West Point commencement ceremonies in the morning.
In the Gulf: BP continues to prepare for the "top kill" procedure, while officials find animals covered in oil.
At the White House: No public events.
In the Gulf: BP continues to siphon out oil from the busted well. The company begins preparing for a new plan to stop the oil leak called a "top kill." The plan involves injecting mud into the top of the well and then sealing the area with cement.
At the White House: No public events.
In the Gulf: U.S. officials reportedly hold talks with Cuban officials on response efforts amid concerns that the oil slick is spreading even farther.
At the White House: Obama welcomes Mexican President Felipe Calderon to Washington. Both heads of state publicly criticize Arizona's new immigration law. The president hosts a state dinner for Calderon at night.
In the Gulf: A U.S. official says it is "increasingly likely" the oil will be swept out to the Florida coastline.
At the White House: Obama visits a factory in Youngstown, Ohio.
In the Gulf: BP claims the tube is sucking out more than 42,000 gallons a day from the Gulf floor to a tanker ship. That's still a fraction of the oil leaking out from the well.
At the White House: Obama hosts the NCAA tournament champion University of Connecticut women's basketball team.
In the Gulf: BP crews successfully hook the tube to the oil pipe to siphon oil to a tanker ship. Researchers say the oil has entered a current that could carry it toward the Keys.
At the White House: No publicn events.
In the Gulf: BP struggles to install the tube into the oil pipe, but expresses optimism in the plan. The company continues to drill a relief well, which is considered the permanent, though time-consuming, solution to the problem. The process is about halfway done.
At the White House: Obama speaks at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service. He delivers his weekly radio address on "Wall Street Reform."
In the Gulf: BP uses robots to try to insert a small tube into the leaking pipe on the Gulf floor, in an attempt to seal it off and siphon oil to the surface.
At the White House: Obama honors TOP COPS award recipients at the White House.
In the Gulf: BP prepares to suck oil away from the spewing well before trying to place the smaller containment box on top.
At the White House: Obama flies to Buffalo, N.Y., for a tour and town hall meetings at a local factory. He later travels to New York City for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event.
In the Gulf: Crews lower the new, smaller containment box to the Gulf of Mexico floor.
At the White House: Obama meets with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the White House, then takes questions from the press.
In the Gulf: Response crews replenish fuel and water in preparation for long-term relief efforts.
At the White House: Reports surface that the Obama administration has proposed splitting up the Minerals Management Service, the agency responsible for overseeing offshore drilling. One arm would be tasked with inspecting rigs and enforcing regulations while the other would oversee drilling leases.
In the Gulf: BP announces it will try to place a smaller dome over the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.
At the White House: Obama meets with Cabinet officials and senior staff at the White House to discuss the oil spill response.
In the Gulf: BP officials say, after the 100-ton box fails to stop the leak, that they may try to do the same thing with a smaller box. Approximately 3.5 million gallons of oil have spilled into the Gulf at this point.
At the White House: Obama speaks to graduates at Hampton University in Virginia.
In the Gulf: Balls of tar begin washing up on Alabama's beaches. Meanwhile, the 100-ton box meant to capture the leak is not working.
At the White House: Obama delivers his weekly radio address on holding insurance companies more accountable.
In the Gulf: Robots place a 100-ton box over the oil well on the ocean floor, in an unprecedented attempt to stop the flow. Officials expand the coastal area closed to fishing due to the spill.
At the White House: No public events.
In the Gulf: Officials confirm that oil has made landfall on the Louisiana coastline. BP prepares to lower a giant box over the oil well to capture the leak.
At the White House: Obama participates in a national security meeting on Afghanistan and Afghanistan.
In the Gulf: BP caps one of the three oil leaks, though thousands of barrels of oil continue to leak into the Gulf.
At the White House: Obama attends a Cinco de Mayo celebration at the White House.
In the Gulf: Winds in the Gulf of Mexico calm down, giving crews a chance to lay down boom by the shorelines. BP tries to cap a small leak while preparing to place a containment dome over the main leak.
At the White House: Obama speaks at the Business Council in Washington. There he pledges to minimize economic damage from the oil spill.
In the Gulf: BP's executive says crews are reducing the amount of oil reaching the surface by using dispersants. He pledges that BP will pay "all necessary and appropriate" costs associated with the clean-up.
At the White House: The administration, holding a meeting with BP executives, presses BP to explain how it will cover those clean-up costs. The president has a conference call with Allen and local officials to discuss the response.
In the Gulf: More vessels and response teams are deployed. Fishing is shut down from the Mississippi River to the Florida panhandle.
At the White House: Obama travels to the Gulf coast to survey the damage and meet with local officials. He calls the spill a "potentially unprecedented" disaster and pledges a "relentless" federal response. Obama is later briefed on the attempted Times Square bombing.
In the Gulf: Two more offshore platforms are shut down in the Gulf of Mexico as a precaution. Crews continue using dispersants by the leak. The slick from the explosion has tripled in size. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen is put in charge.
At the White House: Obama speaks at the University of Michigan commencement. Obama later attends the White House Correspondents Dinner.
In the Gulf: Oil reportedly begins to wash ashore in Louisiana's wetlands. High winds make coastal protection efforts difficult.
At the White House: Obama again addresses the spill in public remarks. He suspends new offshore oil drilling but reaffirms his commitment to domestic oil production. The president order an immediate review on rig safety and sends top administration officials to the Gulf coast.
In the Gulf: The Coast Guard says the oil spill could soon reach landfall, while mitigation efforts continue.
At the White House: Obama, in his first public remarks on the spill, pledges to deploy "every single available resource" in response. He speaks with the governors from five Gulf states, while Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declares a "spill of national significance."
In the Gulf: Crews start to set fire to select sections of the spill. The Coast Guard reports that it has found a new leak, and updates its estimate of the spill from 1,000 to 5,000 barrels a day.
At the White House: Obama talks about the economy in Missouri. He later travels to Illinois to talk about financial reform. He is briefed on Air Force One about the spill on the way back to Washington.
In the Gulf: More boats are deployed to the Gulf. Coast Guard officials say they're considering lighting the spill on fire.
At the White House: The Obama administration launches an investigation into the explosion. Administration officials meet with BP executives. Obama meets with the newly formed debt and deficit commission, then travels to Iowa to speak at an energy facility.
In the Gulf: About 15,000 gallons of dispersants and 21,000 feet of boom are used at the spill site to mitigate the damage from the leak.
At the White House: Obama greets the New York Yankees at the White House, then speaks at an entrepreneurship summit.
In the Gulf: The Coast Guard estimates up to 1,000 barrels are leaking in the Gulf every day in the wake of the blast. Dozens of boats and hundreds of response workers are deployed to contain the spill.
At the White House: Obama leaves Asheville to attend a memorial service for the West Virginia miners who died in the Upper Big Branch explosion.
In the Gulf: The Coast Guard discovers oil leaking from the ocean floor.
At the White House: Obama plays golf in North Carolina.
In the Gulf: The Coast Guard ends the search for the missing 11 workers, who are presumed dead, at the end of the day. The Coast Guard reports that oil does not appear to be leaking from the well head, though they are trying to contain what spilled in the explosion.
At the White House: Obama and the first family travel to Asheville, N.C., for vacation.
In the Gulf: The Deepwater Horizon rig sinks, while search-and-rescue efforts continue.
At the White House: Representatives from 16 federal agencies collaborate as part of a national response team to the Gulf disaster. Obama travels to New York City to discuss his financial regulatory bill. The president later holds a meeting in the Oval Office about the response to the oil rig tragedy. The White House releases a statement saying Obama is ensuring the government is offering "all assistance needed" in the rescue effort and in responding to the environmental impact.
In the Gulf: Coast Guard helicopters search for 11 missing oil rig workers.
At the White House: Obama meets with Senate Judiciary Committee members at the White House to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy. He later hosts a reception for G20 labor officials.
In the Gulf: An offshore oil drilling rig owned by Transocean and operated by BP explodes in the Gulf of Mexico nearly 50 miles of the Louisiana coast.
At the White House: The president returns to Washington from Los Angeles, where he was attending a set of Democratic fundraisers the night before.