It’s been nine days since the explosion on BP’s oil rig off the coast of Louisiana and things only seem to be getting worse. More oil is leaking into the Gulf than expected and by this time the oil slick has likely reached the fragile coastline. Containment is next to impossible and we’ll be dealing with the aftermath for years to come. As the federal government helps the efforts, Obama has reportedly stated that no new drilling will be allowed until officials can figure this whole mess out. Great news! While it’s not an official ban, at least new offshore drilling is on hold for the time being.

This morning on Good Morning America, White House senior adviser David Axelrod said, no new drilling until “there is an adequate review of what happened here and what is being proposed elsewhere.” Obama is rethinking his stance on offshore drilling compared to a month ago, when he lifted the ban on offshore drilling because it was crucial to national energy security. This change comes in response to Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, who, on Thursday called for a moratorium on all new offshore oil exploration while the cause of this rig explosion is under investigation.

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To clarify his statement, Axelrod goes on to say, “All he has said is that he’s not going to continue the moratorium on drilling but… no additional drilling has been authorized and none will until we find out what happened here and whether there was something unique and preventable here.” Although not an official ban, this is good news for the environment and hopefully we can keep another disaster like this one from ever occurring again.

Cleanup crews are working fervently to protect the nearby shorelines and contain the spill, but with 5,000 barrels leaking out a day, there’s a lot of oil to roundup. A number of methods are being attempted to deal with the spilled oil and the leaking rig including chemical dispersants, barricades, a containment box around the rig, and drilling relief wells. An investigation has been started to determine the cause, which could likely be human error, and the heads of BP are expected to testify.

Watch the video of Axelrod’s statement here.

Via ABCNews

photos credits: NASA Earth Observatory and NOAA