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Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Threatens Gulf Coast

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Sensitive environmental areas along the U.S. Gulf Coast are under serious threat as oil spill spawned by last week’s explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico continues to grow at an alarming rate. There are fears that if the spill continues unabated, it could reach the shores of Louisiana and Mississippi by Saturday.

Among the areas that could be in the path of the spill is The Delta National Wildlife Refuge. According to The Wall Street Journal, Louisiana’s $2.4 billion dollar per year sea food industry is at risk, as well. There are major harvesting areas for oysters and shrimp in the eastern part of the state, close to the spill’s area.

Because of the risk of fire posed by the oil slick, a second offshore rig called Ocean Endeavor, which is leased by Exxon Mobile, was evacuated as a precaution. Ocean Endeavor sits about 10 miles from Deepwater Horizon.

The slick from the spill and now covers 1,800 square miles. The well continues to spew an estimated 42,000 gallons, or 1,000 barrels, of oil into the sea every day.

BP, which leased Deepwater Horizon from Transocean LTD,is responsible for the cleanup of the spill. According to a statement from BP, more than 1,000 people are taking part in the oil-spill response.

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