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With the oil slick rapidly spreading to the fragile coastline of Louisiana, the federal government is taking a more aggressive role in its response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, with British Petroleum primarily responsible for the cleanup, the operation crew consists of over 1,000 people and many vessels and aircraft, but the oil won’t stop spreading. In response to the dire situation, the federal government is increasing its efforts to help stop the oil from spreading even further by providing U.S. Navy resources. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano called the oil rig disaster “a spill of national significance” and announced the creation of a 2nd command post in Mobile, Alabama in addition to the one in Louisiana to prevent dire coastal impact in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.

As of this morning, the oil apparently began lapping at the shores of Louisiana—the first indication that this could, in fact, be one of the worst environmental disasters in a decade since the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. Furthermore, hundreds of species of birds, fish, and other wildlife along the coast will likely suffer because of the spill. However, on Thursday President Obama stated that he would use “every single available resource” to stop the ever-growing leak to protect the fragile shoreline environment. Moreover, the governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, has declared a state of emergency and the state has also moved up the start of the white shrimping season to help fishermen who will likely be devastated by this disaster. In fact, the seafood industry provides $2.6 billion a year to the Louisiana economy.

President Obama recently echoed Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in referring to the oil spill as “a spill of national significance” and ordered Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to visit the site today. In addition, he is also sending SWAT teams to the Gulf to inspect rigs and platforms.

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