Buchanan: runaway oil well must be capped now

SIESTA KEY -- U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, came away from a flight over the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico this week with at least one overriding concern: "We've got to cap it today."

Buchanan, standing in front of a Gulf of Mexico beach at Siesta Key, said today at a press conference that a U.S. Coast Guard official told him the runaway Deepwater Horizon well, in the worst case scenario, could pump out 210,000 gallons a day for a minimum of four months.

But he said that everyone hopes the well will be capped in much faster than that.

Buchanan called the disaster "unbelievable and devastating," and expressed concern that the spill, even if it doesn't hit local beaches, will scare away enough tourists to hurt the local economy.

It's important for the area to plan for the worst and hope for the best, he said.