Gulf Oil Spill Triples In Size Overnight; Unimaginable Environmental Catastrophe Looms


The surface area of a catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill quickly tripled in size amid growing fears among experts that the slick could become vastly more devastating than it seemed just two days ago.

Frustrated fishermen eager to help contain the spill from a ruptured underwater well had to keep their boats idle Saturday as another day of rough seas kept crews away from the slick.

President Barack Obama planned a Sunday trip to the Gulf Coast to see the damage.

As Rachel Maddow has explored, this is going to have an impact on coastal life reminiscent of Katrina -- all bad. Indeed, with no end of the pollution in sight, and the spill having reached such massive size already, it's conceivable that not only will the entire Gulf of Mexico, and all its coastal areas, be rendered lifeless and unusable for generations, but that the entire Eastern Seaboard will be awash with oil as well.

It's already looking like this will be one of the largest manmade environmental catastrophes in history. And that's saying something.

Of course, the right-wingers are trying to find some way to blame President Obama for this mess.

And while it's true that Obama's announcement last month favoring some new offshore projects is now looking woefully misbegotten, let's not forget where this disaster came from: the world of Halliburton and Dick Cheney and his secret energy talks.

Indeed, this oil spill is a clear product of Republican "small government" philosophy: the belief that you could and should "free the market" to drill anywhere at any time, and with as little regulatory oversight, including both environmental and safety standards. That's how BP talked the government into letting it drill at such great depths with as little surety that a blowout would not occur as it did, nor with any reckoning of the potential consequences of a blowout.

Consequences that are just about to hit our shores. Quite literally.


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