President Barack Obama is making a visit to Louisiana today to assess the potential damage of the crude oil spilling from the sunken offshore rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. The slick may have tripled in size over the course of the last day—satellite images show the surface area of the oil slick to have increased from around 1,150 sq miles to 3,850 sq miles by the end of Friday and efforts to contain the expanding oil, such as skimming, burning or dispersing it, have had little success. The Coast Guard said it is virtually impossible to know the exact amount of oil leaking from the rig explosion, although with current estimates of 1.6 million gallons (2 1/2 Olympic-sized swimming pools), the spill will likely surpass the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster as the worst U.S. oil disaster to date. The approaching slick has dire consequences for both environment and economy as it will affect wildlife, coastal habitat, and delicate ecosystems as well as the fishing and tourism industry. Obama has since ceased any new offshore drilling projects without further review to avoid another disaster.
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