The US administration has banned oil drilling in new areas of the US coast while the cause of the oil spill off Louisiana is investigated.
White House adviser David Axelrod told ABC TV they wanted to know exactly what led to last week's explosion on the BP-operated rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
Last month President Barack Obama eased a moratorium on new offshore drilling.
Up to 5,000 barrels of oil a day are thought to be spilling into the water, threatening US coastal areas.
The slick has begun to reach the Louisiana shore, and the US Navy has been sent to help avert an economic and environmental disaster.