Millions of gallons of oil were pouring into the gulf. A pipeline had broken. The drilling platform had burned and sunk. Workers had died. The oil flowed freely from the broken pipe. It was a mile beneath the ocean surface. The oil company tried to stop the flow. It poured golf balls into the pipe. It poured mud into the pipe. It put a steel cap on the pipe. Nothing worked. Oil was on the water. Oil was in the water. Oil was everywhere. It was on the beaches. It was in the marshes. It was killing fish and birds. It was an environmental disaster. Fishermen stopped fishing. Nobody would buy their fish. Nobody would eat their fish. It was an economic disaster. In May, the oil company said it might be able to stop the flow by August. "August? There go our sandy white beaches," said Florida residents.