July earliest for more tankers at spill

June 11, 2010 at 2:45 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 11 (UPI) -- Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Friday it would be July before more tankers are on site at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The tankers are needed to hold and haul away the contained oil from the underwater well that new estimates say is spewing as much as 40,000 barrels a day into the fragile gulf environment.

Allen, the White House liaison on the disaster, said British petroleum giant BP and the U.S. government need "a unified effort," to deal with the oil spill, despite indications that tensions are rising.

President Barack Obama plans another trip to the area next week -- his fourth since an explosion rocked the oil rig, killing 11, April 20. The rig sank two days later, starting the spill that has been fouling the gulf and coastal areas ever since.

Earlier this week, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he would demand BP pay oil workers lost wages because the administration ordered a halt to new deep-water drilling for six months. After a meeting in Houston, one BP executive said, "The demand is chilling. The administration keeps pushing the boundaries of what we (BP) are responsible for," The Wall Street Journal reported.

White House senior adviser David Axelrod, in an interview, said it would be hard for BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward to "play the victim" after the damage the oil spill has caused.

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