After flyover, congressman downplays threat of oil spill

Sun HeraldMay 1, 2010 

GULFPORT, Miss. — Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., said oil from the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico is "naturally breaking up as it’s heading to shore" and that he's less concerned about it after witnessing it firsthand.

"This isn't Katrina. It's not Armageddon," Taylor said. "A lot of people are scared, and I don't think they should be."

Taylor, along with Mississippi Department of Marine Resources Director Bill Walker and Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., flew at 1,000 feet over the spill today on a Coast Guard twin-engine CASA 144.

He described the spill as a light, rainbow sheen with patches that looked like chocolate milk.

He did not see any traces along the Louisiana shore, near the Chandeleur Islands in Louisiana or the barrier islands in Mississippi, he said.

This was Taylor's first time to see the spill for himself.

"At the moment, it’s not as bad I thought it would be," he said.

Taylor said the good news was the spill seemed to be breaking up and very little may actually come ashore here.

"If it gets here, it will be a very light sheen," Walker said.

Walker said the sheen could collect on beaches and in estuaries, but it will evaporate after a few days to a week.

His advice is to "leave it alone and let nature take its course."

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