Obama makes first visit to Florida beaches since oil spill

Posted by Elizabeth Stewart - email

(WFLX) - President Obama will visit Florida beaches for the first time Tuesday since oil began gushing into the Gulf. It's his last chance to see the damage for himself before addressing the nation tonight. "I promise you this. Things are going to return to normal."

In Alabama on Monday, he promised the Gulf would eventually bounce back. However, some business owners aren't so sure. "I think vacation and tourism business is going to be over. And you know, that's what this place is.

"There's still a lot of opportunities for visitors to come down here." Hoping to ease fear, the president urged vacationers to visit the many beaches still oil free. He also announced increased inspections to keep seafood, the heart of the local economy, safe.

President Obama plans to discuss his visit when he meets with BP executives Wednesday. Some of those officials will be on Capitol Hill Tuesday testifying before Congress, setting the stage for a showdown.

Newly released documents from a Congressional investigation suggest that BP chose cost over caution. In the week before the oil rig exploded, company emails showed engineers were behind schedule and cutting corners.

One worker even called the doomed rig, a "nightmare well" that had caused problems in the past. Of the risk, another BP engineer wrote: "who cares, it's done, end of story, we'll probably be fine."

Nearly two months later, the undersea well has spewed as much as 100 million gallons of oil into the gulf, with no end in sight.

Copyright 2010 WFLX. All Rights Reserved.