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Terry Winckler's blog

Today—three long weeks into an oil spill that threatens ecological and economic disaster in the Gulf of Mexico—federal officials probing the accident seemed both angry and incredulous at what they were being told, The New York Times reports.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said at his committee's hearing on the accident:

<Update: Environmental groups are hopeful that public outrage over the Gulf oil spill strengthens a green movement towards more sustainable living.>

Public opinion is sharply reflecting three weeks of un-staunched oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Less than half of Americans now support offshore oil drilling—a huge drop from the days of "drill, baby, drill"—according to a new CBS poll.

Polling indicates a swing from 64 percent favorable to offshore drilling to only 46 percent now. Forty-one percent of those polled say the costs and risks of drilling are too great. Previously, only 28 percent held that position.

The oil unstoppably pouring out of the Gulf of Mexico's sea floor is now unstoppable as it pushes past efforts to keep it out of wetlands. Over the weekend, thick, tarry blobs rode the tide into wildlife refuge areas of the Mississippi delta. It took 12 days, but the invasion has arrived. <Update: A land/sea/air effort to keep oil out of Louisiana wetlands has been assembled today, The Miami Herald reports.>

<Updates: Oil damage to gulf coast wetlands and wildlife spawning areas could last generations, the Christian Science Monitor reports. "The Gulf appears to be bleeding," exclaims an observer as he flies over the spilled oil. See his 5-minute video report.>

Meanwhile, offshore, British Petroleum still can't find a way to staunch the leak which has put an estimated 3.5 millions of oil into Gulf waters since BP's well rig exploded April 20. After the containment dome attempt failed over the weekend, BP is hoping to plug the gusher with old tires, golf balls and who knows what else. It will be perhaps three months before a relief well is finished.

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