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Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be bigger than Exxon Valdez

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"People are finally realizing that they're not going to shut this thing off. If we could stop the oil right now, we could handle the spill, but realistically we're looking at stopping it in August or September."

IN PICTURES: Louisiana oil rig explosion and Destructive Oil Spills

"As you realize the level of magnitude of that, you've got to bring in more resources, and certainly the military can help," he says. "This is not going to be a black tide of oil, it's globs of oil coming in patches, but it's going to come for a long time. At this point, it's impossible to protect everything."

Gulf Coasters are bracing for what now threatens to become the worst oil spill accident in US history. "It's unreal they haven't even stopped it yet," Long Beach, Miss., charter boat captain Barry Deshamp told CNN. "At first they were telling us it's not even leaking."

Fifty miles out to sea, 70 vessels – including tugboat barges, airplanes, helicopters, special recovery boats and oil skimmers – are working feverishly to corral, break down, or incinerate the spill, with BP spending $6 million a day on battling the Jamaica-sized 45-by-105 mile slick.

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