A giant skimmer has arrived in the Gulf of Mexico to help with the oil spill clean-up, despite bad weather playing havoc with containment efforts.
High hopes are being pinned on the Taiwan tanker, dubbed the ‘A Whale’.
The vessel, the largest ever in the Mississippi River, can collect an estimated 500,000 barrels of contaminated water a day.
But, BP and the US coast guard have said hurricane Alex is still keeping the clean up on hold, allowing crude to wash up on Gulf Coast beaches and wetlands.
Louisiana’s Governor Bobby Jindal has blasted the federal government’s response to the spill.
‘‘The only question they need to ask themselves is are they in this war to win it or not? It’s as simple as that. Your either get in this war to win it, cut through the red tape and bureaucracy and get it done. Don’t admit defeat. Don’t accept it as inevitable that there has to be oil in our wetlands. Don’t give up on Louisiana’s seven thousand miles of shoreline.’‘
Weather experts have warned that this year’s hurricane season could be one of the most intense in years. As many as five major storms are expected to materialise.
Any one of those could seriously compound the environmental and economic disaster that was unleashed by the sinking of BP’s drilling rig in April.