An image from a live video feed the oil plume is seen on the BP.com website early Wednesday, May 26, 2010. The oil company planned a "top kill" designed to choke off the gusher of oil at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico by force-feeding it heavy drilling mud and cement early Wednesday May 26, 2010. (AP Photo/BP.com)
ROBERT, La. (AP) - New oil flow estimates by scientists studying the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico would make leak the worst in the nation's history, far bigger than 11 million gallons that spilled in the Exxon Valdez disaster.
U.S. Geological Survey Director Dr. Marcia McNutt says the results are preliminary, but two teams using different methods determined the well that exploded
April 20 and sank two days later has spilled between 17 and 39 million gallons.
President Barack Obama says the government is in charge of the response to the Gulf oil spill, not the oil
Obama says all steps BP takes to end the huge spill must be approved in advance by the government. Obama says his administration will do whatever is needed to protect and restore the Gulf Coast from this "unprecedented disaster."
At a White House news conference Thursday, Obama also said the spill was causing "tremendous catastrophe" for the Gulf Coast and urged Americans to visit the region's beaches.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)