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For Gulf Coast, oil spill echoes Katrina

NASA image, taken Thursday, via Daily Kos

NASA image, taken Thursday, via Daily Kos

With 210,000 gallons of oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster spilling into the Gulf of Mexico every day and beginning to reach land, the people of Louisiana are wondering, again, whether their government cares about them. From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

The leak from the ocean floor proved to be far bigger than initially reported, contributing to a growing sense among some in Louisiana that the government failed them again, just as it did during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. President Barack Obama dispatched Cabinet officials to deal with the crisis.

Cade Thomas, a fishing guide in Venice, worried that his livelihood will be destroyed. He said he did not know whether to blame the Coast Guard, the government or BP.

"They lied to us. They came out and said it was leaking 1,000 barrels when I think they knew it was more. And they weren't proactive," he said. "As soon as it blew up, they should have started wrapping it with booms."

Today on ABC's Good Morning America, White House adviser David Axelrod signaled at least a pause in President Obama's plan to open more waters to off-shore drilling. BP's Deepwater Horizon was supposedly the very best in drilling technology, and look at the mess we have now. "No additional drilling has been authorized and none will until we find out what has happened here," Axelrod said. Since emergency crews can't even cap the Deepwater Horizon's well yet, we may be a long, long time in meeting that mark. Perhaps not surprisingly, the White House quickly walked that back. From the Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire:

“Before production moves forward in a new region of the Gulf of Mexico, the Mid or South Atlantic, or the Arctic Ocean, an area will have to undergo thorough environmental analysis, public input and comment, scientific study and review, and a careful examination of the potential risks and spill response capabilities in that area,” a White House official said.

Exploration and production planned through 2012 apparently still has a green light.