Obama Admin. Catching Heat Over Gulf Oil Spill

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WASHINGTON -- The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has developed into a major environmental problem, and now it's becoming a political issue for the Obama administration.

Critics say the White House should be putting more pressure on British Petroleum. to stop the leak.

Obama's Katrina?

At a town hall meeting with BP officials, one store owner in St. Bernard Parish, La., summed up the community's biggest fear.

"Flood insurance will cover flood damage," the store owner said. "But if this oil is coming in, like Katrina-style with 10-foot surge, it's going to go through the roof."

Some critics are starting to call the oil spill President Obama's "Katrina," comparing the administration's handling of the oil spill to the government's botched response after the 2005 hurricane.

It's not helping any that the White House has sent conflicting messages. On the one hand, administration officials have suggested that BP might be pushed out of the way. On the other hand, they have admitted the government doesn't have the expertise or the equipment to move them aside.

"To push BP out of the way would raise the question - 'With what?'" U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said.

To make matters worse, BP and the Environmental Protection Agency are feuding over the chemical being used to break up the oil. The government is concerned the by-product may be too toxic.

Quit Aiming, Start Shooting

Meanwhile, millions of gallons of oil have already poured into Gulf. And those who live along the coast say time is running out.

"We can't wait anymore," said P.J. Hahn, director of Plaquemines Parish Coastal Zone Management. "We got to quit aiming and start shooting."

"Let's be clear. Every day that this oil sits and waits for cleanup is one more day that more of our marsh dies," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said.

Administration officials have insisted they're on top of the problem.

But while the White House attempts to portray itself as being in control, even loyal supporters have begun suggesting there's been a lack of leadership when it comes to handling this disaster.

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