Mississippi Dem presses his oil spill solution

Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), a former Coast Guard reservist, this week offered his own plan to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil spill from wrecking his state's coastline.

Taylor shared his plan in a letter sent Thursday to BP CEO Tony Heyward, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.

"The goal must be to prevent oil from reaching Mississippi's barrier islands, interior beaches, or estuaries," Taylor wrote. "The way to do this is to intercept and remove the oil before it gets to us."

Taylor called for those in charge of the response to "coordinate the efforts to locate any approaching oil and to deploy vessels with the clearly defined mission to collect the oil prior to it reaching Mississippi's islands, beaches, or estuaries."

He laid out a three-layered response plan:

- A picket line of observation vessels at least five miles from the barrier islands would be charged with spotting oil headed to the coast. Taylor said he has asked for NASA satellites to help track the oil, and he wants to put to use Air Force Reserve and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration planes equipped with instruments that can measure oil thickness on the ocean surface.
- A second line of response boats equipped with skimming equipment and absorbent booms, operating on 24-hour shifts.
- A third line of vessels patrolling specific sectors of the Mississippi sound to alert response crews of oil gets through.