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Obama to address nation on spill

President Barack Obama will use the sombre setting of the Oval Office for the first time since coming to power to make a televised address this evening aimed at convincing a sceptical public that he is in control of the BP oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mr Obama will have just returned from his fourth visit to the Gulf, which was to include an overnight stay in Pensacola, Florida, after making stops yesterday in Mississippi and Alabama. His previous three trips were all confined to the Louisiana coast.

The activism of Mr Obama will heap pressure on BP, which is likely this morning to come under sharp criticism from executives of competing energy giants who will be testifying on Capitol Hill.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal yesterday, the chief executive of Chevron said the BP accident on April 20 that left 11 men dead and triggered an ongoing environmental disaster was “preventable”.

The British Government, meanwhile, defended the company, |expressing dismay over the rise of anti-British feeling in the US.

“We don't want an element of national identity to creep into this. BP is an Anglo-American company,” said Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne.

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