Efforts to close a well spewing oil in the Gulf of Mexico are failing so the Coast Guard is considering lighting the mess on fire.
Crews have been unable to stop thousands of barrels of oil from fouling gulf waters since an April 20 explosion sank the Deepwater Horizon, which was drilling 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. Eleven workers are missing and presumed dead, and the cause of the blast has not been determined.
Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said the controlled burns would be done during the day far from shore. Crews would make sure marine life and people were protected and that work on other oil rigs would not be interrupted.
The burning could start as early as Wednesday afternoon, but whether it will work is unclear.
Ed Overton, a professor emeritus of environmental sciences at Louisiana State University, questioned the method.