The U.S. Geological Survey announced Thursday that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has already spilled between 17 and 39 million gallons. The results are preliminary, and may be revised. By comparison, the Exxon Valdez disaster released 11 million gallons.
UPDATE: The White House just announced that President Obama has fired Liz Birnbaum has resigned as the head of the Minerals Management Service, which was charged with regulating offshore oil rigs. She had held the post since July of 2009. [Update #2: As President Obama made clear during his press conference, he did not fire Birnbaum. The exact circumstances of her resignation remains unclear. Even Obama said he did not know. Update #3: Ken Salazar announced that Birnbaum “resigned today on her own terms and on her own volition. I thank her for her service and wish her the very best.”] My apologies for the confusion.