WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday asked Congress for at least 129 million dollars in new emergency funding to cope with wide-ranging fallout from the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
"I will spare no effort to clean up whatever damage has been caused, assist those whose livelihoods have been affected by this spill, and restore the Gulf coast," Obama said in a letter to House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi, on requesting the budget amendments, released by the White House.
Among the requests were at least 100 million dollars for the Coast Guard. The money would be taken from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, under the US president's plan.
Additionally, Obama asked for 29 million dollars for the Interior Department "for additional inspections, enforcement, studies, and other activities that are outside of those recoverable from responsible parties or the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund."
Facing potential political fallout and frustrated by three weeks of failed efforts to stop the huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Obama Wednesday sent top experts to aid BP in its battle to cap a sunken rig.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a Nobel prize-winning physicist, and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar met earlier with BP engineers and executives at the British oil giant's command center in Houston, Texas.
Crews and US lawmakers are still struggling to understand what caused the the Deepwater Horizon rig to explode on April 20, off the Louisiana coast, killing 11 workers and sinking two days later.
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