Finger Pointing Begins in Gulf Oil Clean Up

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WASHINGTON -- Crews have been trying to contain the Gulf of Mexico oil spill for more than 30 days, and the best shot of stopping it won't come until later this week.

Meanwhile, anger and frustration is growing as millions of gallons of the toxic substance pour into the Gulf. Now the spill has entered a new phase: The blame game.

An Eco-Catastrophe

Yet another day dawns and with it another 5,000 barrels of oil is streaming into the Gulf's waters.

The spill has already battered the fishing and tourism industries, but its effect on the environment and wildlife could go on for years.

"Look at here," oil harvester Floyd Lasseigne said as he pointed out the damage being done to the Gulf's delicate ecosystem. "You can see it's oil on that stick - maybe more. It's like peanut butter or fudge. The marsh is already destroyed."

Over the weekend, wildlife officials tried to rescue pelicans covered in oil, but they won't be able to treat them all.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal says the state will bypass federal approval to build sand barriers to protect the marshes.

"Every day we're not given approval on this emergency permit to create more of these sand booms is another day when that choice is made for us, as more and more miles of our shore are hit by oil," Jindal said.

On Monday, two cabinet secretaries are scheduled to lead a bipartisan congressional delegation on a flyover tour of the area.

This comes as the Obama administration toughens its talk on the spill. But some say talk is cheap.

Palin Questions Obama's Oil Ties

Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who campaigned on the slogan "drill, baby, drill," says the administration hasn't been responsive enough because of campaign contributions from British Petroleum.

"The oil companies who have so supported President Obama in his campaign and are supportive of him now," Palin said, questioning whether "there's any connection there to President Obama taking so doggone long to get in there, to dive in there, and grasp the complexity and the potential tragedy that we are seeing here in the Gulf of Mexico."

Administration officials deny such charges, saying the White House intends to make BP pay "every bit" of the cost.

"I don't think anybody could credibly say, even as frustrated as they are and as frustrated as we are, that the government has stood around, done nothing, and hoped for the best," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.

In the meantime, BP is planning what it calls a "top kill" maneuver, which would shoot heavy mud and cement into the blown well. The problem is, the maneuver has never been attempted at that depth - and they won't be ready for another day or two.

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