WASHINGTON (AP) - Declaring himself as angry as the rest of the nation, President Barack Obama assailed oil drillers and his own administration Friday as he ordered extra scrutiny of drilling permits to head off any repeat of the sickening oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Engineers worked desperately to stop the leak that's belching out at least 210,000 gallons of crude a day.
As Louisiana wildlife officials reported huge tar balls littering a beach, BP PLC technicians labored to accomplish an engineering feat a mile below the water surface. They were gingerly moving joysticks to guide deep-sea robots and thread a mile-long, 6-inch tube with a rubber stopper into the 21-inch pipe gushing oil from the ocean floor - a task one expert compared to stuffing a cork with a straw through it into a gushing soda bottle.
It's the latest scheme to stop the flow after all others have failed, more than three weeks since the oil rig explosion that killed 11 workers and set off the disastrous leak.
Obama, whose comments until now have been measured, heatedly condemned a "ridiculous spectacle" of oil executives shifting blame in congressional hearings and denounced a "cozy relationship" between their companies and the federal government.