Feds May Torch Gulf Oil Slick
Controlled burn could start today
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2010 1:18 AM CDT
The spill now stretches 42 by 80 miles.   (AP Photo/Brendan Farrington)
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(Newser) – The Coast Guard is considering setting the gigantic oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico ablaze as it approaches land. A controlled burn to burn off the oil could happen as soon as today if winds keep pushing the Rhode Island-sized slick toward ecologically sensitive areas of the Mississippi Delta, CNN reports.

"We fully understand that there are benefits and trade-offs" in torching the slick, the admiral co-ordinating federal operations told the New York Times. Birds and mammals will be "more than capable" of handling the effects of a burn, which will remove most of the oil and leave a waxy residue, said a Coast Guard spokesman.