President Barack Obama has visited Louisiana to review efforts to stem an oil slick which is threatening to the devastate coastlines along the Gulf of Mexico.
The oil is leaking from a ruptured pipeline after an explosion on a rig which killed 11 people. The platform is leased by the petroleum giant BP. Since then around 5,000 barrels of crude each day have been spewing out.
President Barack Obama had a grim message.
“We are dealing with a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster. So let me be clear, BP is responsible for this leak, BP will be paying the bill, but as President of the United States, I’m going to spare no effort to respond to this crisis for as long as it continues.”
More than 2000 people have been deployed to protect the shoreline from the oil which is fast approaching the beaches of Louisiana, Mississippi and possibly even Florida.
BP insists it has launched the biggest ever maritime mop-up operation but attempts to shut off the oil leak using remote-controlled submarines have so far failed.
Meanwhile the unchecked spill has the potential to destroy vital fish and shrimp breeding grounds.