US President Barack Obama has lashed oil companies for trying to divert blame for the Gulf of Mexico slick and vowed to sever the "cosy" ties between the industry and government regulators.
As experts said the amount of oil flowing into the sea from the crippled Deepwater Horizon rig was likely much higher than estimated, Obama vowed he would not rest until the leak was contained and capped.
Visibly angered by the gravity of the disaster and the failure to contain the spill despite more than three weeks of efforts, Obama announced yesterday a review of the enforcement of environmental protection safeguards.
"I'm not going to rest or be satisfied until the leak is stopped at the source, the oil in the Gulf is contained and cleaned up, and the people of the Gulf are able to go back to their lives and their livelihoods," he vowed.
He also hit out at the three oil companies linked to the sunken rig gushing oil into the Gulf for seeking to pass the buck, denouncing what he called a "ridiculous spectacle" by their top officials during recent congressional hearings.
The rig, leased by BP from Transocean, has been gushing oil since an explosion on April 20 ripped through the drilling platform and caused it to sink two days later. Eleven workers were killed.