US Coast Guard joins oil-spill fight in Gulf of Mexico

President Barack Obama has ordered federal agencies to take aggressive steps in response to what the U.S. government is now calling an oil spill of national significance in the Gulf of Mexico.

Photo: NASA

The president dispatched key officials to the Gulf region and directed the use of every available government resource to assist containment and clean up efforts.

The president, who earlier telephoned the governors of five U.S. Gulf states impacted by the spill, spoke briefly before a White House event honoring U.S. school teachers to underscore his commitment to finding out why the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank, and taking steps to deal with the aftermath.

“My administration will continue to use every single available resource at our disposal, including potential the Department of Defense, to address the incident,” said President Obama.

Emergency crews in the Gulf of Mexico are deploying containment booms along the U.S. coastline as a massive oil slick from a damaged deepwater well approaches land.  Experts say the slick might reach Mississippi River delta portions of the state of Louisiana by late Thursday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, says the sandy shores of the Louisiana delta lie directly in the path of the expanding oil slick as it moves west.  Meteorologists say winds have been constant for several days, pushing the slick from the site of the damaged Horizon Deepwater oil rig.  The rig exploded and sank last Friday, injuring several workers and leaving 11 others missing and presumed dead.

Charlie Henry, a science coordinator with NOAA, says Louisiana state officials have been deploying thousands of meters of booms along the coast to minimize the potential damage if the oil washes ashore.

Sources: Voice of AmericaVoice of America

Formae Mentis related news:
Oil spill in Gulf of Mexico leaking 42000 gallons daily – April 27, 2010
Oil rig in Gulf of Mexico sinks after explosion – April 23, 2010
Obama lifts ban on oil drilling offshore – April 2, 2010
Giant oilfield in the Gulf of Mexico, announced by BP – September 6, 2009

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