"As efforts failed Tuesday to contain the flow of tens of thousands of gallons of oil leaking from an exploded well deep in the Gulf of Mexico, emergency response teams are considering a controlled burn-off of the oil on the water's surface as early as today.
Tuesday night, the expanding oil slick was about 20 miles off the coast of Louisiana and stretched 100 miles wide by 45 miles long at its greatest expanse.Workers were girding to protect environmentally sensitive areas nearby in the Mississippi River delta that are home to migratory birds and a nursery for nearly a quarter of the seafood production in the continental United States.
'It is the closest it's been to shore throughout this response, and we're paying attention to that, very careful attention to that,' said U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry. She added that if the spill isn't contained, it has the potential to become 'one of the most significant oil spills in U.S. history.'"