WASHINGTON – Scientists are anxiously awaiting signals about where a massive oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico may be heading, while containment of the looming environmental catastrophe proves elusive.
With fears growing that the gushing well could spread damage from Louisiana to Florida, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told a Senate panel Tuesday that his agency had been lax in overseeing offshore activities and that may have contributed to the disastrous spill.
“There will be tremendous lessons to be learned here,” Salazar said in his first appearance before Congress since the April 20 blowout and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 people.
Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen told another committee that the growing size and scattershot nature of the spill were creating “severe challenges” in containing it and cleaning it up. He called it more complicated than any spill he’s ever seen.
“What we’re basically trying to do is protect the whole coast at one time,” Allen said.
Watching MSDNC yesterday, they seemed to lead off each hour with the story of tar balls that had washed up in the Florida Keys and were hyping this as evidence of the spill’s impact, although it’s unlikely that they’re actually from the BP disaster. I’m not trying to minimize the impact of what’s happening, but honest reporting is what’s needed. Not hype.