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Sink to Obama: Take charge of oil cleanup

Florida’s chief financial officer is asking the Obama administration to stop waiting for BP PLC to stop the oil from spilling into the Gulf of Mexico and start taking matters into its own hands. “For too long, we have relied on BP and its contractors to staunch the flow of oil, and they have failed us at every turn,” Sink said in a news release. “We are now more than a month out from this disaster, and Floridians want to know: Where is the federal government’s leadership?” Sink, who is running for governor, sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Monday, asking that he put his administration “in full command” of stopping the oil leak and processing claims of those impacted by the disaster. “By whatever standard one views this situation – environmental or economic – what’s clear is that we are all suffering due to the lack of a workable plan to stop the leak and take care of the residents and businesses that have been affected,” Sink noted. Sink said she is asking Gov. Charlie Crist to schedule an emergency meeting of the Florida Cabinet to allow a forum for U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to provide Florida’s executive branch with a full briefing on the federal government’s plans to end the crisis. On Sunday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said areas of oil had moved closer to the Chandeleur Islands, a chain of barrier islands that form the easternmost point of Louisiana and which are part of a national wildlife refuge. “With winds forecast from the north, this will tend to push the oil away from shore,” NOAA noted. “However, the threat of oil impacting the coastline remains high.” Over the weekend, the British oil giant admitted it was capturing less oil from the ruptured well than previously estimated. The president has already warned he would remove the company from efforts to seal the well if it does not act quickly enough to stem the flow, which started after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, killing 11.

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