Oil burns at the Ixtoc 1 offshore drilling rig in December 1979. The rig dumped 140 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico and covered about 170 miles of the South Texas coast, including Galveston. John Hoagland/Liaison/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption John Hoagland/Liaison/Getty Images

Workboats operate near the Transocean Development Drilling Rig II at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this month. Dave Martin/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Dave Martin/AP

Scott Burke, owner of Loop Linen and Uniform Service in Westwego, La., says the Gulf oil spill has had an impact on his bottom line. "As the restaurants slow down, we slow down," Burke says. "It's just a trickle-down effect." Tovia Smith/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Tovia Smith/NPR

A BP contractor uses a piece of absorbent boom to try to sop up oil from a marsh near Cocodrie, La. An NOAA contractor says this technique is not approved and will cause more harm than good to Louisiana's fragile marshes. But this worker's boss defends the technique. Elizabeth Shogren/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Elizabeth Shogren/NPR

BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg (right) stands with outgoing CEO Tony Hayward. Hayward may not receive any exit compensation if he stays on with the company. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption AFP/Getty Images