May 12, 2010 – As the the Gulf Coast Oil Crisis grows more critical by the day, several Louisiana lawmakers are ramping up their calls for the government to relieve BP of its authority in the cleanup effort.
BP is currently directing operations to contain the slick while simultaneously attempting to stop the oil well from leaking nearly a mile below the ocean’s surface. The company is also in charge of supplying the effort with containment materials, which are becoming increasingly hard to find. Each coastal parish is making its own plans to defend its coastline, but final approval must be given by BP and the coast guard.
“We’re at the point where we’re going to have to break some rules to save ourselves,” says state Rep. Sam Jones of St. Mary Parish, which includes Atchafalaya Bay. “We’re relying on a private company that seems to be overwhelmed.”
Jones says the solution is obvious: “We need to handle this like a hurricane, with the governor’s office in Baton Rouge in charge.”
As the crisis enters its third week, the situation grows increasingly dire as oil moves west of the Mississippi River and threatens Barataria, Terrebonne, and Atchafalaya bays, as well as the wetlands of Jefferson, Lafourche, and Terrebonne parishes – among Louisiana’s most productive fisheries.
A state of emergency has been declared in the Gulf Coast region, and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted landfall for oil along Grand Isle and Port Fourchon sometime this week.
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