Spill Numbers Worsen, La. Calls for Drill Ban Lift

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The government has now estimated the oil from the broken British Petroleum well has been spilling out at 20,000 to 50,000 barrels a day. That is 40 times what the first calculation was.

Meanwhile, Louisiana leaders have been pleading with the Obama administration to let all offshore drilling resume right away. They said the ban will kill many more jobs in a region already hit so hard with job losses due to the massive spill.

"I would ask the president of the United States to be mindful. For God's sake don't finish us off with moratorium," Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said.

No more oysters will be shucked and supplied by The P&J Oyster House as the 134-year Louisiana landmark has now been forced to shut down because of the oil spill.

All the workers will be laid off like so many others in the region whose jobs depended on the Gulf and its wildlife.

"We have a134-year history," the company's co-owner, Al Sunseri, said. "I don't know what kind of value you put on a company that has made a livelihood for thousands of people who have worked in this place over all those years."

"I've been shucking oysters for the last 37 years and to wake up and not be able to go to a job, it's kind of scary" employee Michael Rogers said.

To make matters worse, BP may not be able to live up to its promise to pay for all that's been lost to the spill -- a cost estimated at about $14 billion.

BP stock has lost more than 50 percent of its value -- $85 billion.

Also, President Obama said he wants to change an old federal law that caps in the mere millions how much a company doing business out at sea has to pay in damages.

"To make sure that the people in the Gulf -- the fishermen, the hotel owners, families who are dependent for their livelihoods in the Gulf -- that they are all made whole," Obama said.

"The American people will not spend a dime for the cleanup of the Gulf region and that BP will be held responsible for all the damages," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said.

And now Obama's freeze on offshore drilling may wipe out 20,000 more jobs in the Gulf.

"Half of our families make their living fishing," Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said. "The other families make their money in the Gulf, drilling for oil and gas."

While jobs have been washing out, the oil has just kept washing in.

"It's ruining our paradise here," said Joe McCarron of Orange Beach, Ala.

"I just feel like going behind the building and just crying," Rogers said.

"I'm not angry," Sunseri said. "I learned not to be angry after Katrina. This is something I can't do anything about. It wasn't something that I did."

Meanwhile, a number of communities have been fighting on their own to preserve the shores around them -- like the feisty officials of Ocean Springs, Miss. who went straight to BP on their own and got a million dollars for special booms.

"This is a Katrina-hardened group of elected officials who are used to preparing for a hurricane," Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran said. "We've seen over a month this thing looming out in the Gulf of Mexico. We're not going to sit on our hands and do nothing."

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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.