Obama warns of "unprecedented environmental disaster"

Pools of oil move towards shore

Fishermen from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle have been asked to pull in their reels as the U.S braces for what Barack Obama called “a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.” Vast tendrils of oil continue to seep towards the U.S coastline, following an oil spill off the Gulf Coast two weeks ago. In Louisiana, thick, black puddles are already moving through the state’s salt marshes. Obama, on a tour of response efforts last Sunday, assured reporters that he will do everything in his power to curb the oil flow. But he also stressed that oil industry behemoth BP America, which owns the leaking wells, is not off the hook: “BP is responsible for this leak. BP will be paying the bill.” So when will it end? That depends on who you ask. BP says that in just 8-10 days, it will have completed three 74-ton domes, which it will then place over the leaks. But government officials seem less confident. U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar warns that we still face “a very grave scenario.” He adds, “A lot of oil could spread.”


Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.