Washington (AP) - President Barack Obama said Friday that a new cap on the ruptured Gulf of Mexico oil well is good news, but he also cautioned an anxious public not to "get too far ahead of ourselves."
Obama said that because the public has become accustomed to watching continuous live camera feeds of the crude that has been gushing from BP's leased oil well since April, that they may now think the new, tighter cap has solved the problem.
"Everybody feels like we're done, and we're not," he said. Obama said an "enormous clean up job" and ensuring that local residents and business owners are being compensated quickly for their losses are still in the offing.
Government scientists and outside experts were continuing to test the cap to make sure oil isn't seeping out elsewhere "in ways that could be even more catastrophic," Obama said before leaving the White House with his wife and daughters for a weekend in Bar Harbor, Maine.
"We won't be done until we actually know that we've killed the well and that we have a permanent solution in place," he said. "We're moving in that direction, but I don't want us to get too far ahead of ourselves."
Obama said he planned to return to the Gulf region in the coming weeks. He has visited four times since BP's leased Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20 and later sank off the Louisiana coast, killing 11 men.
He said the current focus should be on the technical crews that are on site and making sure the well is being shut properly.
Associated Press writer Ben Feller contributed to this report.
President Barack Obama said Friday that a new cap on the ruptured Gulf of Mexico oil well is good news, but he also cautioned an anxious public not to "get too far ahead of ourselves."