The Gulf oil spill that's currently nearly 50 miles wide and 80 miles long is “growing worse by the day“ with “no end in legitimate sight,” Attorney General Greg Abbott said at a press conference this morning.
According to Abbott, “all forecasts show no immediate or imminent impact to the Texas coastline,” but he added that it was “impossible to say conclusively" whether the state would be spared. He also announced Texas was joining with the attorneys general of the Gulf Coast states to provide legal support to local businesses to gain compensation for damages and “protect taxpayer dollars that may be at risk.”
The slick is currently heading away from the state — toward the Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida seaboard — but factors like the direction of wind, water currents, and even a potential hurricane could change that. As circumstances stand now, Abbott said “we really won’t know for months” whether Texas shores will escape economic or environmental harm.
In a gush likened to an underground volcano, crude oil is still spewing at a rate of 200,000 gallons a day from a British Petroleum well located 5,000 feet under the sea. BP officials say it will take at least another seven days to contain the eruption, but that process, complicated by the well’s depth, could take up to three months. In Louisiana this weekend, President Barack Obama called the situation in the Gulf “a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.”
For now, Abbott said BP has made “all the right actions and all the right comments” but that the AG’s office would be watching to “ensure that BP’s action lives up to its current words.”
Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.