Obama to Meet Families of Gulf Spill Victims

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President Barack Obama will offer condolences at the White House on Thursday to the families of the 11 workers killed in the Gulf oil rig disaster. The president also plans to visit the Gulf Coast again next week.

Meanwhile, evidence of the spill's overall environmental impact is reaching new shores everyday.

Globs of oil have made their way up out of the Gulf and have been found in Alabama's Cotton Bayou.

Crews have moved in to the area to begin clean up operations where protective booms have failed to block the large mass of oily goo.

The city of Fairhope, Ala. bought its own booms and also deployed them when British Petroleum failed to execute its promised plan to protect the community's beaches and inlets.

"That plan, along with a lot of other plans was put in the trash can," said Fairhope Mayor Tim Kant.

"I've been in meetings with BP officials," said State Sen. Trip Pittman, (R). "They have made commitments and they were open-ended commitments. They weren't pushed upon them. They made them freely and those commitments have not been lived up to."

Kant said the booms arrived just in time to sop up oil blobs as they washed into the bay.

Louisiana, the state hardest hit so far by the spill, has become the first state to order its governor and attorney general to sue BP.

Lawmakers have approved $25 million to pursue a lawsuit, hoping to make BP pay billions of dollars in reparations for the damage it has done.

"Our shrimpers, fishermen, wildlife, it's just going to cause a great disaster to the coast," said Rep. Rickey Hardy, D- Lafayette.

Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., has ridiculed BP for not paying the damages the company promised it would pay.

"They say no claims have been denied. Well, as of a couple of days ago over 50 percent of the claims of lost income hadn't been paid," Jindal said. "And you've got claims that have been open for weeks."

A fisherman whose business could be crippled for years, came to Congress to testify that BP may legally get away with not paying for much of the harm it has caused, because of a law that caps an oil company's liability.

"It's time to lift the $75 million liability cap and truly hold any company that recklessly creates such a disaster responsible for their actions," said Mike Frenette, a Gulf fisherman.

Actor Kevin Costner was also on Capitol Hill, expressing the frustration some Americans feel that more ideas to clean up the oil are not getting serious attention. He and his brother have developed a device they claim can separate oil from water.

"It doesn't require dispersants or chemicals to operate it," Costner said. "In short, we don't have to further pollute the ocean."

Alabama businessman Don White was trying to get a polyethylene boom taken seriously. He said it was much lighter than regular booms, but sucked up more oil much faster than others.

"When I first saw it I thought it was like a little Pee Wee Herman, but when it eats oil, it's like a Fat Albert," White said.

"Gosh, this could fit under the bow of a boat," he added. "We could do the whole Gulf of Mexico on the back of my boat."

An alpaca farmer in Fabius, N.Y. is also trying to make a difference by shipping off her herd's fleece to the Gulf. She says it will do wonders absorbing oil.

"I would think that it would be more absorbent than raw sheep fleece," said breeder Paulie Drexler. "It's a wonderful product and there's a lot of it."

BP said its containment cap on the ruptured well is capturing 630,000 gallons a day, and that amount could nearly double by next week.

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CBN News
Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.