Oil booms line the waters around around the wetlands near the Southpass of the Mississippi River on the Lousiana Coast on April 30, 2010 in Venice, Louisiana. Oil is still leaking out of the Deepwater Horizon wellhead at a estimated rate of 1,000-5,000 barrels a day. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Booms have been put in place around sensitive wetlands. These are near Venice, La. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

By Mark Memmott

Throughout the weekend, NPR.org and the network's radio correspondents will be updating news about the massive oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, a look at various news outlets this hour turns up several interesting stories, many focusing on British Petroleum, including:

-- "The worst U.S. oil spill in decades reached into precious shoreline habitat along the Gulf Coast as documents emerged showing British Petroleum downplayed the possibility of a catastrophic accident at the offshore rig that exploded. BP suggested in a 2009 exploration plan and environmental impact analysis for the well that an accident leading to a giant crude oil spill -- and serious damage to beaches, fish and mammals - was unlikely, or virtually impossible." (Associated Press)

-- "As state and federal officials displayed increasing displeasure with its response, BP on Friday tried a new approach to protect the Louisiana coast on the 10th day of a massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill: using a chemical to disperse the oil as it welled up from the seabed. But the stakes only increased as Louisiana health and wildlife officials shut down all commercial and recreational fishing east of the mouth of the Mississippi River to protect consumers from tainted seafood. The closure imperiled the livelihoods of thousands of fishers and related interests." (The Times-Picayune)

-- " As oil edged toward the Louisiana coast and fears continued to grow that the leak from a seabed oil well could spiral out of control, officials in the Obama administration publicly chastised BP America for its handling of the spreading oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. Yet a review of the response suggests it may be too simplistic to place all the blame for the unfolding environmental catastrophe on the oil company. The federal government also had opportunities to move more quickly, but did not do so while it waited for a resolution to the spreading spill from BP." (The New York Times)

-- "Ocean scientists say the Gulf of Mexico's strong loop current could move the oil spill around the tip of Florida and up the Atlantic Coast." (Houston Chronicle)

categories: Accidents and Disasters, Environment, National News

7:35 - May 1, 2010