Scholastic News Online

Scholastic News Online is a free resource with breaking news and highlights from the print magazine.

Available for grades 1-6, Scholastic News magazine brings high-interest current events and nonfiction to millions of classrooms each week.

Additionally, our subscribers have FREE access to Scholastic News Interactive, an exclusive online learning tool featuring digital editions, videos, interactive features, differentiated articles, and much more.

President Barack Obama in the Oval Office President Barack Obama speaks after addressing the nation about the oil-spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico on June 15, 2010. This was the President's first speech from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Oil Spill Addressed From the Oval Office

Oval Office speeches are rare events—President Obama dedicates his first one to the Gulf of Mexico oil-spill disaster

By Laura Leigh Davidson | June 16 , 2010

A speech by the President of the United States is always a big deal. But when the President addresses the nation from his desk in the Oval Office, it means that there is something going on that affects the country in a major way.

President Barack Obama made his first ever Oval Office speech to the nation on Tuesday. His subject was the oil-spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. He described efforts to contain and stop the eight-week-old spill much like a commander-in-chief illustrates the conflicts of a war.

"Tonight, I've returned from a trip to the Gulf Coast to speak with you about the battle we're waging against an oil spill that is assaulting our shores and our citizens," President Obama said.

He talked about the incredible challenges the deepwater spill has presented. Obama explained that containing the oil gusher had "tested the limits of human technology."

The President resolved once again to restore the Gulf Coast. He also said BP would be responsible for paying the cost of the "the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced." BP was operating the oil rig when it had an explosion on April 20, causing the spill.

Restoring Residents and Repairing the Region

Obama said he would inform the chairman of BP that his company must create a fund that will compensate the workers and business owners who are affected by the spill. On Wednesday, BP agreed and said it would set aside about $20 billion to pay current and future damage claims.

The President also said that former Mississippi Governor Ray Mabus would work with Gulf Coast residents to develop a long-term plan to repair the oil-spill damage to the environment and wildlife of the Gulf Coast region. Obama said BP will foot the bill for this operation too.

Steps Toward Safer Drilling

In May, Obama ordered a six-month halt on any new deepwater oil drilling.

This new-drilling halt comes with a cost. Many people who work on oil rigs have been laid off because of the deepwater-drilling freeze.

"I know this creates difficulty for the people who work on these rigs," the President said. "But for the sake of their safety, and for the sake of the entire region, we need to know the facts before we allow deepwater drilling to continue."

An investigation of the April 20 oil-rig explosion that killed 11 people is currently under way.

Obama has also appointed a new head of the Minerals Management Service, the government agency that regulates oil drilling in the U.S. The agency is expected to set much stricter rules and safety standards for any future offshore drilling.

Call to Clean Energy

The President acknowledged that even with stricter rules, oil drilling comes with great risks. He emphasized that oil is a limited resource.

"The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now," he said.

He urged lawmakers, business people, scientists, and all citizens to "rally together" to move the U.S. away from its dependence on fossil fuels and use more clean energy resources like wind and solar power.

Residents React

Many Gulf Coast residents say they believe Obama is genuinely concerned about how the oil spill is affecting their lives and income.

But many are also skeptical about how long it will take to receive compensation, or payment, for what they have lost.

"I'm 51 years old. I cannot wait 10 to 15 years to get back in business," Louisiana shrimper Dean Blanchard told CNN. "[BP] took away the thing I love most in the world."


Scholastic News Online has been tracking the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Click here for a collection of news stories, video, a kids' poll, and other resources that will grow as the events of this environmental disaster unfold.


Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from Scholastic News Online.


  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    New Leveled Bookroom 3rd Edition Grades K-6

    New Leveled Bookroom 3rd Edition Grades K-6

    The NEW Leveled Bookroom 3rd Edition offers over 5,000 inspiring books, across an enormous variety of text types, themes, genres, topics and content areas to put all students on a fast track to mastering complex text. This 3rd edition also includes new print and digital resources and assessment tools that explicitly support college & career readiness.
    What's NEW?!
    Guided Reading Toolkit
    : A BRAND NEW print and digital resource offering critical strategies for using guided reading effectively and to prepare for next generation assessments.
    Digital Resources: Create custom text sets with the Text Set Finder by sorting titles by Guided Reading level, Genre, Theme, and Text Type.
    Assessment Kits: Next Step Guided Reading Assessment from Jan Richardson and Maria Walther provides streamlined assessment tools for data driven instruction!
    Updated Implementation Guide featuring NEW sections addressing:
        -Common Core State Standards
        -Text-Dependent Questions & Close Reading
        -Using Guided Reading to Foster 21st Century Learning Skills

    NEW K-6 Leveled Bookroom Product Components

    Each K-6 Bookroom Includes:
    • 910 Titles (6 copies each)
    • 5,460 Books (GR Levels A-Z, DRA Levels A-80, Lexile Levels BR-1280)
    • Master Title List (PDF)
    • Downloadable Identification Stickers that include each book’s title, author, genre, Guided Reading level, DRA Level, and Lexile level
    • Teaching Cards for every title
    • 2 Resource Kits*
    • 4 Next Step Guided Reading Sets

    *Each Resource Kit Includes:
    • Guided Reading Implementation DVD
    • Guided Reading Implementation DVD Viewing Guide
    • Leveled Bookroom Set-Up Guide
    • 5 Guided Reading Toolkits (Implementation Guide, Flip Chart, and Website access)
    • Text Set Finder Access
    • 15 NEW Implementation Guides which include:
      • Running Records for every level
      • Behavioral Observation Assessments
      • Skills & Strategies Charts
      • Reproducible Genre Bookmarks in English and Spanish
      • Reproducible Check Out Logs
      • Common Core Support

    $29,950.00 You save: 25%
    Scholastic Leveled Bookroom | Grades K-6
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    New Leveled Bookroom 3rd Edition Grades K-6
    Grades K-6 $29,950.00
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    The United States of America

    The United States of America

    by Millie Miller and Cyndi Nelson

    Both an easy-to-use reference tool and a superbly illustrated portrait of our nation, this guide allows readers to quickly look up each state’s bird, flower, and insect, along with other fun facts and points of interest such as endangered species, famous Americans from each state, inventions, records, and much more.

    $5.99 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grades 4-8
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    The United States of America
    Grades 4-8 $5.99
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy




Here's something interesting from