Four Gulf Coast state governors proclaimed Sunday to be a day of prayer for those impacted by the largest oil spill in American history and for a solution to stop the oil gushing in the Gulf of Mexico.
The governors of the states of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas emphasized that the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has not been stopped more than two months after the explosion of a Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that killed 11 men.
“Throughout our history, Alabamians have humbly turned to God to ask for His blessings and to hold us steady during times of struggle. This is certainly one of those times,” said Gov. Bob Riley of Alabama in a statement.
Riley joined the other governors in calling on his citizens to pray for fellow residents and those in other states impacted by the spill, for those responding to the crisis, and for a solution to stop the oil leak.
More than 90 million gallons of crude oil have been gushing into the Gulf of Mexico since the April 20 drilling rig explosion. The oil spill has endangered wildlife, shut down beaches, and threatened the fishing and tourism industry along the coast.
“The Deepwater Horizon oil spill already had a profound effect on Louisiana, its coastline and its people and our entire Louisiana way of life,” stated Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana in his day of prayer proclamation.
Jindal noted the oil spill has had an adverse effect on the state bird, the brown pelican, which was recently removed from the endangered species list.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, meanwhile, said Texans should join their fellow Gulf Coast residents to “thank God, seek his wisdom for ourselves and our leaders, and ask him for his merciful intervention and healing in this time of crisis.”
“[T]hroughout our history, both as state and as individuals, Texans have been strengthened, assured and lifted up through prayer,” said Perry in his proclamation. “[P]rayer provides peace and guidance in times of crisis and conflict, and reminds us of the comforting assurance of God’s love for us all.”
Pastor Bob Simmons of New Covenant Church of Foley in Foley, Ala., said he sees the crude oil washing up on the Alabama coastline.
“We have seen [Hurricanes] Frederic, Ivan, and Katrina come and go,” Simmons said in a report by The Evangelical Covenant Church, “but the potential of this man-made disaster has the potential of being far more devastating than all those.”
President Obama has called the Gulf Coast oil spill the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced.