Can't suck Gulf of Mexico oil spill with straw: Obama
US President Barack Obama had recently told Louisiana residents battling against the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that he cannot "suck it up with a straw".world Updated: Jun 13, 2010 01:06 IST
US President Barack Obama had recently told Louisiana residents battling against the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that he cannot "suck it up with a straw".
The massive ongoing oil spill is now considered the largest offshore spill in US history, as tens of millions of gallons have spilled to date.
"Even though I'm President of the United States, my power is not limitless. So, I can't dive down there and plug the hole. I can't suck it up with a straw," The New York Post quoted Obama, as saying.
"All I can do, is make sure that I put honest, hard-working smart people in place to implement this thing. I will do everything in my power to do right by you guys and everybody along the coast," he added.
The spill stems from a sea floor oil gusher that followed the April 20 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion, in which 11 platform workers were killed and injured others 17.
The gusher, now estimated to be flowing at 3,200,000 to 6,400,000 litres of crude oil per day, originates from a deepwater wellhead 5,000 feet (1,500 m) below the ocean surface.
The exact spill flow rate is uncertain because BP has refused to allow independent scientists to perform accurate measurements.
The resulting oil slick covers a surface area of at least 2,500 square miles, while scientists have also reported of immense underwater plumes of oil not visible at the surface.
US gives BP 48 hours
The US Coast Guard on Saturday expressed concern that BP's current plans to contain the oil spill do not go far enough and ordered it to improve them within 48 hours.