April 29th, 2010
09:31 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Massive Oil Slick Near Land

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

The massive oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico is about to come ashore and five-times bigger than first thought. Louisiana is on alert with the 120-mile sick advancing to its shores and expected to hit land within the next few hours.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has declared a state of emergency.  That's not all. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared the spill a crisis of "national significance" - a move that allows the government to use resources from across the country to battle the spill.  Napolitano and two other cabinet secretaries will travel to the Gulf coast tomorrow to get a first-hand look at the spill.

The focus tonight is doing everything to lessen the environmental impact. The oil could kill or sicken fish, birds and other animals. About 33 miles of floating booms have been deployed in the area.

The latest forecast from NOAA shows the slick reaching Mississippi and Alabama over the weekend and going as far as Pensacola, Florida, by Monday.

Efforts to stop the oil leak have failed and it could take weeks or even months to shut it down.  Just last night they discovered a third leak pushing five times as much oil into the Gulf as first estimated - about 5,000 barrels or 210,000 gallons a day.

We'll give you an up close look at the huge challenges ahead. We'll also dig deeper on the controversy over offshore drilling.

Also tonight, singer Shakira talks about why she's boycotting the state of Arizona over its immigration law. There are so new battle lines being drawn over the legislation.

We'll also give you an exclusive look at the first clinical trial using fetal stell cells that are injected in a patient with ALS or better knowns as Lou Gehrig's disease. Could it be a medical breakthrough? Dr. Sanjay Gupta has the story.

Join us for all this and much more at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Zack

    500k remote valve used in other countries would have allowed us to shut this thing off but the oil companies persuaded our officials the cost was too much.

    Other oil producing countries require a remote shut off valve in case of emergencies such as this one. It is in addition to the valve that is currently used in the U.S. on these rigs. They cost 500k and the oil lobbyists and companies were sucessful in persuading U.S. officials that the cost was too much for them to shoulder. For further reading please lookup "Oil Spill Safeguard Used in Other Nations Not Required in U.S." It is time to confront these corporations as a mass of citizens. This needs to be the wakeup call for the limitation and eventual elimination of this type of drilling off our shores. The risks outweigh the benefits 10 fold. The thing that bothers me the most is that the true economic and environmental risks are shouldered by us the common U.S. taxpayer. When things go you know where then we are left dealing with the consequences. If that is the case then lets take more ownership in these enterprises in the first place. This is our country...we get once chance to protect it and behave like proper stewards.

    April 30, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  2. Brian

    Greetings Anderson and team. Thank you for covering this critical topic.

    This oil spill is an absolute disgrace to our environment and to ourselves; and it just goes to prove that humankind is not learning from its' past mistakes. Why again do we keep relying on oil for energy? Oh yeah, because it's cheap.

    What I'd really like to know is why doesn't our society hold accountable those who are really at fault for big disasters such as these, i.e. the people getting rich at the expense of the environment and our pocketbooks, i.e. the big oil corporations. I think [we should make] the top executives of BP take time out of their plush air-conditioned offices and personally go down to the Gulf of Mexico and clean up the mess they made!

    April 30, 2010 at 7:32 am |
  3. Ann

    As a resident of Mobile, AL, I would like to know why wait until the eve of the catastrophy to declare a national disaster?
    Why didn't federal officials start burning oil off the surface last week before the spill spread hundreds of miles accross the Gulf and before the winds began blowing toward shore?
    Was the burning delay a result of inept Coast Guard leadership or a political issue? The burn makes a big plume and much smoke.
    Former NOAA officials estimated that had the burning got started right away, they could have gotten 90% of the oil before it spread.
    Let's get leadership on containment and minimize damage.
    You can affix blame later

    April 30, 2010 at 4:55 am |
  4. Paul Crack

    It was just a matter of time something like this was going to happen. When it comes to the big profits involved with oil man has no regards for other species of animals untill disaster occurs then we try to play a game of catch up. What are they thinking? In an area known for devastating hurricanes they put oil rigs. This is going to affect many animals for years to come. All the birds that migrate there are going to get sick and then some will leave the area and bring there sick elsewhere. Not to mention passing the pollutants on to their offspring probbably mutating many. Oil companies should not be allowed to drill or ship thru areas where there is even a remote possibility oif an accident where loss or harm to any species is involved. It is a shame that man's greed supercedes the well being of other animals, not just oil but other industries that exploit and rape the enviroment as well. It is apparent that no lessons were learned with the Exxon accident in Alaska that devestated that area to this day. That was small in comparrison to what this will do. What a shame!!

    April 30, 2010 at 2:42 am |
  5. Carolyn F.

    With this oil spill, why can they spray something special, which is not harmful into the oil spill areas in this Gulf which will absorb the major part of the oil which can be sucked up by another ship through some motorized suction hoses to save as much of the wildlife and fish in the Gulf before so hazardous. Didn't they use something in the Northern part like this previously?

    April 30, 2010 at 2:26 am |
  6. Terri Balentine Holley

    I live in Pensacola, Florida where there are miles of National Seashore fronting the Gulf Of Mexico, some of the most beautiful and bountiful scenery, marine and wildlife the world has to offer. It is my refuge, my peace, my home. And it is being destroyed-by sheer negligence; not only on the part of the oil company, but also of my government – who failed to listen to those who have warned of just such a possibility for decades. Who failed to insist on something as essential as an off site cut off valve. This destruction is a product of the same rampant greed that created the Financial crisis, but so much worse. Because maybe we can survive on some unspeakable level without the money, the jobs and the homes that have been taken from us. But none of us will survive without this planet. Every ounce of poison pumping in our waters this very minute will affect our country and our world in a myriad of horrible ways for generations to come. My heart is broken.

    April 30, 2010 at 1:45 am |
  7. kenneth knight

    Drop a line to the pipes and pump liquid nitrogen down there to freeze the water to stop or slow it down.

    April 30, 2010 at 1:39 am |
  8. Fred Pulver

    1) They have to cap off the oil flow ASAP.
    2) They have to stop the slick from reaching land.

    1a) Connecting the broken pipe with a flexible joint to allow for tanker movement to a pipe that pumps it to the surface and into tankers would seem to me to be a way to deal with the flow until they can figure out something more permanent or capping it off.

    2a) Dropping fragmented spongy material that contains enzymes or oil-eating bacteria from planes or helicoptors to soak up the oil and break it down into a biodegradable form would seem to be a way to deal with the threat to wildlife if it cannot be stopped by "corraling" it as they have been doing in smaller areas. Perhaps both methods could be used at the same time.

    April 30, 2010 at 1:31 am |
  9. Peter

    We can point fingers all we want but we are all to blame every time we drive, every time we fly, every time we import food and clothes from far far away.

    Time for all of us to make some hard decision before they are made for us.

    April 30, 2010 at 1:21 am |
  10. Wildlife

    This should nvr happen and all preventive measure including clean up funnel should be on site before drilling is started

    April 30, 2010 at 1:13 am |
  11. Chris

    I sit here with tears in my eyes because of the devastation that will happen in Louisiana, because of the oil. Big business has blackmailed us for years with jobs or pull out, lobbying, and elitist attitudes. The truth is, they are "bad neighbors", never taking responsibility for the messes they create. An man, have they created messes in the last 10 years. Who wants a nuclear power plant in their backyard? Raise your hands!!!!

    I had the privilege of fishing in the estuaries of Louisiana and it WAS a privilege. The guide stopped and with a wide sweep of his arm said, "Take a good look at this missy!! My great grand children will never see this. It is being destroyed, along with the birds and fish. Birds and fish that will disappear forever. These estuaries are the only thing that protects New Orleans from devastating hurricanes. It slows them down!" Less than a year later, Katrina. I was in shock. He had called it!! Now this!!! All manmade devastation, every one of them.

    Instead of Tea Parties, we need some Reality Parties!!! No matter what happens we end up paying for big business blunders. They will shows us how it is done-the CEO for 4.5 million dollars will show how he can scam the public, spill the oil, and make the public pay for it. Now there's an important man!!!

    April 29, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
  12. leila

    I don't understand why a company would drill this coast knowing the possibility of totally devastating the wild life, ocean, fishing industry and coast if something went wrong. This is completely irresponsible behavior, and literally criminal. Human health will suffer as well. And why aren't there national efforts to stop the flow of oil into the ocean?

    April 29, 2010 at 11:46 pm |
  13. Marie Jordan Scranton, Pa.

    What is Obama doing for this disaster of "national significance"? This will not only have an impact on the wild life and the fishing industry but lets talk about how it impacts the rest of the United States? Who's paying this bill? Just because I live in the North I know there's a price to pay. Thank you AC360 for keeping them honest.

    April 29, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
  14. Sue

    It sickens my heart to hear of this. Man will ruin the world. I pray for the wildlife this is affecting. How can we do this. Thank you Anderson for always covering what is important.

    April 29, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
  15. chris

    Lets not forget the gulf stream! Soon this spill will be working its way up the eastern shores of America. Eventualy British Petoleum will be getting its own oil back on the shores of Great Britain. Mark my words , this will be the worst natural disaster in American history. The Gulf of mexico will be a wasteland for years. It is not drill baby drill, instead it is kill baby kill!

    April 29, 2010 at 11:34 pm |
  16. ron indianapolis

    common sense regulations could have prevented most of our controversies of the last 3 years. shame on our elected officials

    April 29, 2010 at 11:25 pm |
  17. Karen

    Question: why not position aircraft engines on barges offshore and BLOW the oil to keep it off shore??

    I am (obviously) not an expert, but it seems better than the options being discussed by BP and others right now, and would take less time to deploy – even as a temporary measure.

    April 29, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
  18. Jim

    Is this enough of a disaster for us North Americans to finally say it's time to cut our oil umbilical cord?

    April 29, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
  19. Heather Wright

    Anderson, thanks for covering the oil spill. As a 5th generation New Orleanian, I can't even begin to tell you the disgust most of us feel at this point down in NOLA. No one even talked about this being a major spill until 2 days ago! Now, the oil has reached our coast as of tonight! We could smell the fumes of oil burning all the way here in New Orleans proper today. Friends of mine complained that they could smell the fumes walking to Jazz Fest (which is happening this weekend) in Mid City.

    Two man made disasters...Katrina and now this...

    I pray for our wildlife, wetlands and seafood industry...the possible massive impact on these 3 things is mind boggling.

    April 29, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
  20. Annie Kate

    The environmental impact of this spill could far surpass that done by the Exxon Valdez spill. Not only could it destroy the oyster bays; it could hurt migrating song birds, bluefin tuna, shrimp, the brown pelican which came off the endangered list just a short time ago, whales, sharks, sea turtles, etc. and destroy the marshes and coastal grasslands that are their habitat. The cost in ecosystem losses will far exceed the Exxon-Valdez spill even if this spill doesn't spill as much in volume. I hope that on the show tonight there is some news about a better way to deal with this so as to minimize the damage.

    April 29, 2010 at 9:54 pm |