Oil Spill a 'Grave Scenario'

As President Barack Obama heads to the Gulf of Mexico to assess oil damage from the sunken rig Deepwater Horizon, several of the key players involved in the cleanup fielded questions on Sunday talk shows. Solutions have come slowly and many of the efforts to contain the expanding oil, such as skimming, burning or dispersing it, have had little success. Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Thad Allen told CNN’s State of the Union that bad weather has played a role in hampering the cleanup and that progress toward success is complex and may take several months. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar called it “a very grave scenario” on NBC’s Meet the Press and said, “You’re looking at potentially 90 days before you ultimately get to what is the ultimate solution here, and that’s a relief well that’s going to have to be built down three and a half miles below the ocean floor.” It’s clear that the oil lapping against the Gulf Coast shoreline will have dire consequences for wildlife, ecosystems, and the seafood industry alike, said Democratic Rep. Charlie Melancon of Louisiana on CBS’ Face the Nation. Lamar McKay, chairman and president of BP America, told ABC’s This Week that the explosion and subsequent oil leak are from “a failed piece of equipment—we don’t know why it failed yet in this contracted rig.” Shortly after the spill began, Obama issued a cessation on any new offshore drilling projects without proper safeguards to avoid another disaster.