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President Obama's First Oval Office Address: "There Will Be More Oil & Damage Until This Seige Is Done" [VIDEO]

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President Barack Obama says he understands the difficulties stemming from a six-month moratorium on new permits for deepwater drilling but tells the nation that he has to ensure the safety of those who work on the oil rigs at sea.

Obama on Tuesday said he had proposed expanded offshore drilling a few months ago with the assurances it was absolutely safe. He says that was obviously not the case aboard the BP rig that exploded and is now spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

In his first Oval Office address that's featured below, Obama compared the need to end the country's "addiction to fossil fuels" to its emergency preparations for World War II and the mission to the moon.

Hours after the government sharply increased its estimate of how much oil is flowing into the gulf, the president warned that risks will continue to rise because

"we're running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water."
He called for fast Senate action on an energy bill that has already passed the House.

"There are costs associated with this transition, and some believe we can't afford those costs right now,"
Obama said.

"I say we can't afford not to change how we produce and use energy, because the long-term costs to our economy, our national security and our environment are far greater."

Even before the president addressed a prime-time television audience, congressional Republican leaders warned him not to use what he described as "the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced" to further his political agenda. But beyond the urgency of his appeal, his remarks were largely an 18-minute compilation of what he has said about the spill over the past several weeks.

Obama says he wants to hear a national panel's recommendations to improve worker safety and environmental protections before the moratorium is lifted. He says he also wants to understand what led to the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig.

(This version CLARIFIES that the moratorium is on new permits and CORRECTS that Obama proposed a drilling expansion, not approved it.)

Hours before President Obama took to the airwaves to speak to Americans about the gulf oil spill, the government group whose task it is to assess the flow rate from BP's undersea well came up with a revised estimate of 35,000 to 60,000 barrels a day.

A previous revision from the federal Flow Rate Technical Group, delivered Friday, pegged the flow at 20,000 to 40,000 barrels.

Obama is scheduled to meet Wednesday with BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg to discuss response efforts and the establishment of escrow accounts to compensate those who the president said have been "harmed as a result of his company's recklessness."

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