Sizing Up the Oil Spill

With the oil spill spurring both environmental and political challenges, the Obama administration has now publicly criticized BP for the accident the Department of Homeland Security has termed “a spill of national significance.” “It is clear that after several unsuccessful attempts to secure the source of the leak, it is time for BP to supplement their current mobilization,” said Janet Napolitano. Another official said that the company would be held responsible for the cost of defense deployment in cleanup efforts. Meanwhile, BP’s chief operating officer said, “We’ve basically thrown everything we have at [the problem].” In response to the spill, Barack Obama has reversed plans for new offshore drilling, calling for a suspension until the current spill is analyzed and new precautions put in place. With no signs of slowing down, the massive spill reached the Mississippi River Friday morning, and officials have suspended the majority of fishing on the Louisiana coast, leading local fishermen to seek jobs on the BP cleanup crew in order to supplement their endangered livelihoods. At least there’s some good news: A second rig that overturned on Friday appears to be relatively harmless, with no reported injuries and no leaks detected.