"The president talked to the governor about this, and they both agreed that he had the ability to do both," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday after Mabus met with Obama at the White House.
That prompted quick criticism from the Defenders of Wildlife, which is working to save animals from the oil that has gushed from an offshore BP oil well for nearly two months.
"The idea that he is only going to work on this part-time is disturbing," said Robert Irvin, the group's vice president for conservation programs. "If this is the equivalent of war, as the president has been saying, it needs a full-time general."
Catholic Charities reported this week that of the 9800 people the counsellors had approached since May 1 in Orleans, St Bernard and Plaquemines parishes, 1593 were referred for counselling with signs of depression.
''It's the fear of losing everything,'' said Anh Cao, a Republican congressman from New Orleans who, with a response team, is travelling along the Gulf Coast to assess needs.
Mr Cao said he met two fishermen in Plaquemines Parish who told him they were contemplating suicide. While such cases were extreme, he said they reflected how some people were ''approaching a point of despair''.
... when you are so scared of the future of the Louisiana coast that you see a depopulated, barren, stained coastal culture for a decade to come; when you feel the sea breeze tendrils of life that have always nourished your beach bum soul inexplicably loosen and shatter in an oil-soaked future wholly beyond your imagination, and you wake up with the cold sweats of despair and disappearing dreams with every front page of The Times-Picayune delivered to your door; when all you have is a tiny drop in the bucket of hope that we can bind our fierce determination together, dollar by dollar, to fight for our lives..."
This game is for two players. Each player takes a role either 'BP' or 'The Public' and each player has two cards that represent two possible strategies. BP is trying to shore up its dwindling share price, while the public just want the leak plugged. Both players pick a strategy and play it face down, simultaneously. These are then revealed and the effects on the share price and the leak are worked out. This action is then repeated until the game ends. It's very simple, takes just a few minutes to play, but is also quite devilish and deceiving.