As the environmental disaster unfolds in the Gulf of Mexico, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said yesterday that he no longer supports offshore drilling off the coast of Santa Barbara, NPR reported.
"You turn on the television and see this enormous disaster, you say to yourself, 'Why would we want to take on that kind of risk?' " Schwarzenegger said at a news conference.
Despite the fact that state democrats blocked a proposal last year to allow expanded drilling, the governor had supported a new plan to allow 30 new slant wells off Santa Barbara, the site of an oil platform explosion in 1969 that polluted miles of shoreline.
On Monday, Schwarzenegger said his support had been based on numerous studies finding it was safe to drill. But now, "I see on TV, the birds drenched in oil, the fishermen out of work, the massive oil spill, oil slick destroying our precious ecosystem," the governor said.
Meanwhile, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal reported that the oil had made its way to Louisiana's Chandeleur and Breton sounds, but officials were having trouble finding it, nola.com reported. “Newspaper photojournalist Chris Granger said he could see no concentrations of oil on the barrier islands' beaches, currently a key nesting sight for a wide array of shore and water birds,” the article stated.
“Two birds found in the oil slick were recovering at a rescue center — a gannet found Friday and a brown pelican found sometime between then and Tuesday,” according to the Associated Press. (To see how trained officials clean birds, check out this article.)
“'We’re preparing for the worst,' said Jim Hood, the attorney general of Mississippi, referring both to the spill itself and the possibility of fierce legal struggles. The state has been taking photos and video of coastal areas and counting fish and birds, he said, to have a record of what exists before the oil arrives," a New York Times article stated.