美國海岸防衛隊用以處理國家層級漏油事件的經費來自美國石油洩漏責任信託基金(U.S. Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund)。基金來自輸入到美國的原油稅，每桶8美分。艾倫說：「該基金目前已累積了16億美元。」
Admiral Thad Allen, commandant of the United States Coast Guard, was today appointed by President Barack Obama to be incident commander for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill - a massive oil slick flowing from a broken wellhead a mile beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had said earlier this week that 5,000 barrels a day were spilling from the three known leaks in the 5,000 feet of pipe from the sunken wreck of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig now strewn across the sea floor.
As of this afternoon, a light oil slick had washed up on the Louisiana shore at the mouth of the Mississippi River and on the barrier islands.
President Obama plans to visit the area Sunday to assess the situation. He has called a halt to any new offshore drilling projects unless rigs have new safeguards to prevent a similar disaster.
"One of the things the President wants is to make sure is that we're not going to rest until these leaks are stopped, the well is capped and oil is cleaned up," John Brennan, assistant to the President for homeland security, told reporters today.
Declared a Spill of National Significance, the oil now is estimated to cover an area the size of Puerto Rico, which has an area of 3,515 square miles.
Experts fear that it will result in an environmental disaster as the oil slick being spread from the Deepwater Horizon accident threatens the Gulf shoreline from Florida to Texas, the Gulf of Mexico commercial fishing and shrimping industry and habitat of hundreds of bird species and endangered sea turtles.
Admiral Allen set forth four operational priorities to be accomplished. "Number one, the ability to stop the leak at its source; number two, the ability to attack the oil at sea; number three, to protect the resources ashore; and number four, to recover and mitigate the impacted areas," he said.
BP is the responsible party for accomplishing these tasks, and Admiral Allen said that he, as the National Incident Commander, is the accountable party.
He said there is "extensive pressure on British Petroleum to come up with technical solutions to first stop the leakage that is apparent around the wellhead and the pipe riser, and then to facilitate the drilling of a relief well which will relieve the pressure on the current well and allow it to be capped. Only that remove the threat, when the well is capped," he said.
More than 142,000 gallons of dispersant has already been sprayed on the oil slick from the air and that effort will continue with two high-capacity aircraft from the U.S. Air Force.
"We have an inordinate amount of boom and other types of materials, but we need to have it where the oil is going to be and the real challenge is trying to predict that. But I think we need to be looking at the implications for Mississippi and Alabama over the next 72 to 96 hours," the admiral said.
At the surface, BP's says the company's response is expanding to mobilize shoreline protection teams and equipment and community liaison staff, while planning for in-situ burning of surface oil several miles offshore. Over 2,500 personnel are now involved in the response effort and preparations are being made for a major protection and cleaning effort on the shorelines of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
The federal Minerals Management Service is in contact with all oil and gas operators in the oiled area. Two platforms have stopped production and one has been evacuated as a safety measure. Some 6.2 million cubic feet of natural gas is shut-in, which is less than one-tenth of a percent of daily gas production in the Gulf of Mexico.
The U.S. Coast Guard's response to a spill of national significance is funded through the U.S. Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. This, in turn, is funded from a tax on crude oil that is imported into the United States country, an eight cent a barrel tax. Admiral Allen said "that fund is $1.6 billion right now."