The spill is slowly moving east. Oil could reach the Atlantic “by October.”

House Republicans condemned one of their own (Rep. Joe Barton of Texas) for apologizing to BP for a “shakedown” by the federal government. Barton retracted his apology, while Republicans in the Senate defended a limit on the company’s liability for the spill.

Local politicians have joined the call to boycott BP, and future Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos announced plans to lead a spill-inspired renewable energy summit.

Will speedier payments help Florida’s tourism industry?

How much is $20 billion?
Not much for a giant oil company.

BP holds enough oil in its reserves to single-handedly supply the United States for two years. It has little debt for a company of its size and makes more money than Apple and Google combined.

So when the White House arm-twisted its executives into setting aside $20 billion for the Gulf oil spill, investors weren’t worried it would bankrupt BP. They barely batted an eye.“The U.S. government will become insolvent before BP does,” said Bruce Lanni, a stock analyst with Nollenberg Capital Partners.

As it stands, the company’s investors remain “sanguine.”

“Trust the locals”
In today’s New York Times, David brooks calls for more local control over the spill response.

If you talk to elected leaders from Louisiana to Florida, they fill your ears with tales of incompetence — of advice that was not heeded, of red tape stifling effective operations, of local knowledge that was cast aside and trampled.

If you read the local news media from the gulf region, this anger flows out in article after article. “The information is not flowing,” Senator Bill Nelson of Florida told a Senate hearing. “The decisions are not timely. The resources are not produced. And as a result, you have a big mess, with no command and control.”

Quite a few locals might be inclined to agree with him.

Get a job: Gov. Charlie Crist has launched a website for people seeking jobs helping with cleanup efforts. His smile greets visitors on the homepage.

Eliminating our dependence on foreign oil: A fixture of American politics as old as the double “V for victory.”

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