Effort to plug well hangs in balance

Pat McMahon Contributor
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GRAND ISLE, La.—BP PLC struggled for a second day Friday to stop the oil gushing from the area where the Deepwater Horizon blew up, as President Obama traveled here to try to assure residents the federal government is doing everything it can to protect them.

The president’s visit to Grand Isle, a thin barrier island on the far southern tip of Louisiana about two and a half hours south of New Orleans, came as BP faced a day of stops and starts in its latest effort to stem the flow of oil. In the operation, known as a “top kill,” heavy drilling liquids were being pumped into the well to stem the gushing.

The president’s trip came after several days of rising criticism in Washington and from local and state officials, coastal residents and fishermen that his administration hasn’t taken command of the Gulf spill. It was Mr. Obama’s second trip to the Louisiana coast since the Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20, killing 11, rupturing the pipe below and setting off the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

After picking up tar balls on a beach here, Mr. Obama met the governors of Louisiana, Alabama and Florida and local officials. Nearby, a young man held a hand-written sign reading, “Clean up the Gulf,” in black letters resembling dripping oil.

Full story: Effort to Plug Well Hangs in Balance –