Should We Burn the Oil Spilled in the Gulf of Mexico?

The other day Reno wrote about the explosion on an oil rig that caused an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. With the equivalent of 1,000 barrels of oil leaking into the Gulf every day, time is of the essence in terms of finding a solution. The Coast Guard's (rather surprising) proposal? Burn the oil. Treehugger explains:

If the oil reaches nearby shores, the problem might be compounded by the fact that these areas are ecologically sensitive and fragile, and the heavy machinery and human resources required to do a large-scale cleanup operation might cause as much damage as the oil itself. ... The combustion of a large quantity of unrefined oil in such sub-optimal conditions would no doubt cause very nasty emissions. But at this point, we have to ask ourselves what is the lesser of evils?
Head to Treehugger for a breakdown of the pros and cons of oil burning and more information on this developing story.

Photo via Treehugger via NASA.