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BP FAIL; Obama FAIL

NEW ORLEANS – BP and the Obama administration offered significantly differing views Sunday on whether the capped Gulf of Mexico oil well will have to be reopened, a contradiction that may be an effort by the oil giant to avoid blame if crude starts spewing again.

Pilloried for nearly three months as it tried repeatedly to stop the leak, BP PLC capped the nearly mile-deep well Thursday and wants to keep it that way. The government’s plan, however, is to eventually pipe oil to the surface, which would ease pressure on the fragile well but would require up to three more days of oil spilling into the Gulf.

“No one associated with this whole activity … wants to see any more oil flow into the Gulf of Mexico,” Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer, said Sunday. “Right now we don’t have a target to return the well to flow.”

But retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the Obama administration’s spill response chief, said a seep had been detected a distance from busted oil well, and he demanded that BP provide results of further testing of the seabed Sunday night. Allen didn’t say what was coming from the seep.

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