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Gulf oil spill: Obama to visit region amid growing criticism of federal effort

May 26, 2010 |  6:45 am

As criticism of the federal response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continued to increase, President Obama will travel to the region on Friday to examine the progress of the cleanup efforts.

Obama, who had originally planned to spend the Memorial Day holiday in Chicago, changed his plans and will visit the region for the second time. He first traveled to Louisiana on May 2, about two weeks after a deep water oil rig exploded and sank in the gulf.

Since the explosion of the rig, the Deepwater Horizon, the oil well operated by BP has spewed millions of gallons into the gulf, in what is likely the nation’s worst oil disaster.

There has been growing criticism by Louisiana officials and others that the federal government is not doing all it could to fight the spill, which has already stained more than 70 miles of Louisiana coast.

The government has insisted it has an oversight responsibility, but that BP is the responsible party to fix the well and stop the oil leaks.

--Michael Muskal