Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the potential environmental outlook for the Gulf Coast oil spill is "a very grave scenario."
He tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that it could take three months before workers attain what he calls the "ultimate solution" to stopping the leak — drilling a relief well more than 3 miles below the ocean floor.
Until that's accomplished, he says, "a lot of oil could spread."
Salazar says President Barack Obama has directed him to protect all of the assets in the region, including the communities that will be affected by the spill.
© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.