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The U.S. Coast Guard is dealing with potentially one of the worst environmental disasters in history as a large oil slick drifts into ecologically sensitive areas off the coast of Louisiana .
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/28/oil.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="One of the many dangers of off shore drilling."]
Coast Guard officials are even considering setting the massive 80 mile oil slick on fire to try and contain some of the damage and prevent the crude oil from spreading.
Oil is still leaking at a rate of about 42,000 gallons a day from the well, located some 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana. A drilling rig, the Deepwater Horizon, exploded and sank at the site last week.
BP, the well's owner, has been trying to shut off the well using eight remote-controlled submarines, but has had no luck up to this point.
"If we don't secure the well, this could be one of the most serious oil spills in U.S. history," Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry, head of a joint response task force, said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
The Coast Guard stressed it would never set the entire spill on fire at once. It would instead use a 500-foot-long, flame-retardant boom to gather some of the oil and then burn only the crude inside its perimeter, according to spokeswoman Lt. Sue Kerver.
This disaster is only weeks after President Barack Obama announced that he would open up parts of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean to oil and natural gas drilling.
The plan includes lifting a 20-year ban on drilling off the Virginia coastline as well as conducting seismic tests to test the viability of off-shore drilling locations in parts of the Atlantic and Gulf.
We want to know what you think.
In light of the latest disaster in the Gulf of Mexio that has the potential to become the one of the worst environmental disasters, should off-shore drilling be completely banned? What steps should be taken to make sure an oil spill like this doesn't happen again?