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President Barack Obama has vowed to "make BP pay" for damage caused by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, in his first national address from the Oval Office.
Mr Obama said he would meet company executives later and tell them that they must set up a fund to compensate those affected by the spill.
He described the spill as an assault on the shores and citizens of the US that tested the limits of human technology.
And he said it demonstrated the need to end the US "addiction" to fossil fuels.
A government panel of scientists now believes 35,000-60,000 barrels were leaking each day, up from its estimate last week of 20,000-40,000. BP's initial estimates were 1,000-5,000.
Politicians have spoken of legal action - and even the possibility of criminal charges - against BP.
Originally posted by Extralien
And I sure hope that they pay for EVERYTHING!!!!
Mr Obama has set up a bipartisan, seven-member committee, drawing together leading scientists, environmentalists and energy experts to determine what caused the rig to explode and sink in April.
Earlier today, the scientific group put together by the US Government to assess the amount of oil flowing from the leaking well estimated the spill rate as being in the range of 35,000 to 60,000 barrels per day.
The group added that the cap currently in place over the well is capturing "up to 18,000 barrels of oil per day".
BP said the cleanup and compensation effort cost had risen to about $US1.6 billion, which included "the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid, and federal costs".
Oil firm BP is to place $20bn (£13.5bn) in a special fund to deal with compensation payouts after the Gulf oil spill, Barack Obama has said.
Reports said there would be no cap on the amount BP might be asked to contribute to the fund.
dividends would not be paid for the rest of this year.