With Obama in Louisiana Friday to assess the response to the BP oil spill, residents have strong views about what needs to happen next. But their ideas can conflict, and expectations are low.
The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is far different than the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. The complex marine environment has currents and eddies that could carry the oil anywhere in the Gulf.
Oil from the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989 may take centuries to disappear, says Exxon. How long will the Gulf oil spill linger?
Blackhawk military helicopters began dropping sandbags along the Louisiana coastline Monday, as oil spill cleanup efforts continued.
Neither BP nor the Coast Guard was ready for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Having booms, boats, aircraft, and local responders in place is expensive, but experts say teams should be ready to go.
Over the years, the Pentagon has played an increasing role in disaster assistance, and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is no exception. Is it too much when the US military is fighting two wars?
Despite BP's efforts, only a small percentage of the oil from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill will be cleaned up, say experts.
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.
The science and history behind oil spills.
The Dust Bowl. During the 1930s, a period of severe dust storms engulfed the American and Canadian prairie lands. The cause: a severe drought coupled with decades of land misuse that left topsoil susceptible to the wind. The so called "black blizzards" forced hundreds of thousands of people in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Minnesota to abandon their farms, exacerbating the dire economic conditions of the Great Depression. This image shows a dust storm approaching Stratford, Texas, on April 18, 1935.