The news from the Gulf of Mexico continues to appall. The size estimates grow even more mind-boggling — 5,000 barrels a day? Try  70,000 — enough  to cover several small states (see Greenpeace image at right).

And there’s certainly enough blame to go around, as President Obama admitted in Friday’s press conference about the spill, in which he urged the major corporate players to stop finger-pointing at one another. British Petroleum owns the well, it’s true, but TransOcean manages the rig that blew, and Halliburton developed much of the equipment that failed. Right now, there’s cleanup to be done and communities to be healed.

As with many disasters, women are already taking the lead in the cleanup effort.  Forbes listed off some, including U.S. Homeland Security’s Janet Napolitano; Carol Browner, assistant to the president for Energy and Climate Change; Dr. Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Lisa Jackson.

Google Maps has even provided a tool to show how much of your own metro area the floating oil would cover. Meanwhile, our Gulf Coast contacts urge us to donate to the Greater New Orleans Foundation, which is monitoring the situation and working to help the thousands already affected.

Below, Napolitano describes cleanup efforts and gives some measurement of the scope of the disaster. WVFC will keep up with this story, and provide more detailed commentary when we can.


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