Spread of Gulf oil spill puts fragile Louisiana Coast on alert
The oil spill issuing from the sunken oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is not yet an immediate threat to the Louisiana coast. But the longer it spreads, the greater the risk to the fragile ecosystem.
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“Our response plan is focused on quickly securing the source of the subsurface oil emanating from the well, clean the oil on the surface of the water, and keeping the response well offshore,” Rear Adm. Mary Landry, incident commander and federal on-scene coordinator, said in a statement.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Louisiana oil rig explosion
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The agency said the cause of the explosion remains unknown.
Efforts to locate 11 workers from the tanker were called off Sunday as they were presumed dead. More than 100 workers managed to escape by helicopter soon after the explosion took place.
Second thoughts on the president's plans
Last month President Obama ended a moratorium on oil and gas drilling and exploration from Delaware to central Florida in the Atlantic, as well as opening the eastern Gulf of Mexico. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told Reuters that despite last week’s oil spill the president “still continues to believe the great majority of that can be done safely, securely and without any harm to the environment.”
However some members of the president’s party are speaking up, saying the explosion may be evidence that the issue needs further review.
He is asking the Interior Department to produce a report detailing all drilling accidents from the past decade. Echoing his concerns is Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) of Louisiana, who is also asking for an investigation into the spill.