Is BP's oil slick Obama's Katrina?

The latest news is that BP's attempts to plug the oil leak with golf balls, shredded tyres and rope have failed. It's time to look at the impact on the public and the politics.

Environmental scientists are warning that continued exposure to crude oil and chemical dispersants is a public health danger.

Writing in the New York Times, columnist Frank Rich says the spill could become Obama's Katrina. He took too long to respond.

Erika Bolstad at McClatchy Newspapers is even more damning. "A litany of half-truths, withholding crucial video, blocking media access to the site and a failure to share timely and complete information about efforts to contain the largest oil spill in US history have created the widespread impression that BP is withholding information about the April 20 oilrig blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, if not misleading the public and the government," Bolstad says. "The government has been little better, for weeks blindly accepting BP's estimates of the size of the spill, all but powerless to force the company to curb its use of toxic chemical dispersants and ignoring warnings from its own officials about possible worker safety violations."

Even when oil leak is plugged and the Gulf cleaned up, the oil leak will have a lasting impact. If people will be getting sick or dying from the crude oil and chemicals, you can be assured it will reshape US politics.


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