Scientists Slam White House on Oil Spill Response

Meanwhile, heavy oil hitting Louisiana marshlands

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 20, 2010 7:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – With heavy oil at last washing ashore in Louisiana, scientists are slamming the Obama administration for responding to the Deepwater Horizon spill too slowly, and not investigating enough. “It seems baffling that we don't know how much oil is being spilled,” one oceanographer said on Capitol Hill yesterday. The government has deployed 1,105 ships to contain the oil, the New York Times explains, but scientists complain that they aren't taking enough water samples, or making those samples public.

The administration has revealed that contamination levels appear low everywhere except Louisiana—where things are dire. Heavy oil finally sloshed into the state's marshland today. Until now only tarballs and sheen had hit the area, which is a key source of seafood for the state. It's “a day we have all been fearing,” Bobby Jindal tells Reuters. “It's already here, but we know more is coming.”

Greenpeace worker Lindsey Allen collects samples of oil that washed up along the mouth of the Mississippi River near Venice, La., Wednesday, May 19, 2010.
Greenpeace worker Lindsey Allen collects samples of oil that washed up along the mouth of the Mississippi River near Venice, La., Wednesday, May 19, 2010.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Oil-hit marshes are seen off Pass a Loutre, La., Wednesday, May 19, 2010.
Oil-hit marshes are seen off Pass a Loutre, La., Wednesday, May 19, 2010.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Greenpeace worker Lindsey Allen collects samples of oil that washed up along the mouth of the Mississippi River near Venice, La., Wednesday, May 19, 2010.
Greenpeace worker Lindsey Allen collects samples of oil that washed up along the mouth of the Mississippi River near Venice, La., Wednesday, May 19, 2010.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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