Oil has pushed at least 12 miles into Louisiana’s marshes and two major pelican rookeries are now coated in crude. Brown Pelicans, removed from the federal endangered species list 6 months ago, are in danger of being killed because of the spill.
Instead of capping the leak, BP has used a mile-long tube to siphon oil, which has been virtually ineffective in quelling the leak. Amounts of oil BP claims to be siphoning continue changing, revealing that BP has underestimated the total amount of oil and gas that continues spewing unabated.
Some estimates put at least 6 million gallons of crude have polluted the Gulf Coast, though some scientists believe the spill has already surpassed the Exxon Valdez disaster. Actual figures are probably a lot higher.
The Obama administration continued defending their response to the crisis while criticizing BP. Some officials considered some drastic measures for cleaning the oil — like burning or flooding the marshes — but may have to wait and let nature take its course.
The spill’s impact now reportedly stretches across 150 miles, from Dauphin Island, Alabama to Grand Isle, Louisiana. As the oil spill grows each day, so does anger with the government and BP. Stopping the leak may not happen until a relief well is dug, which could take a couple more months.
Barbara Boxer (D-CA), head of the Senate’s environmental committee, asked the Justice Department to determine whether BP had made false and misleading claims about preventing a serious oil spill and Justice Department officials have been in the Gulf Coast region gathering information about the spill.