June 15th, 2010
03:06 PM ET

Day 57: Oil disaster latest developments

[Updated at 9:07 p.m.] Here are the latest developments on the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which unfolded after the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20:

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

- President Barack Obama vowed Tuesday to unleash whatever resources may be needed to contain oil and clean up from the biggest environmental disaster in the nation's history.

- Obama predicted that, "in the coming days and weeks," efforts to stop the leak "should capture up to 90 percent of the oil leaking out of the well." By later in the summer, a relief well is expected to stop the leak completely.

- BP's response: "We share the president's goal of shutting off the well as quickly as possible, cleaning up the oil and mitigating the impact on the people and environment of the Gulf Coast. We look forward to meeting with President Obama tomorrow (Wednesday) for a constructive discussion about how best to achieve these mutual goals."

- Oil containment efforts were suspended twice on Tuesday, the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command said on its website.

In the latest report, a faulty sensor led officials aboard the drill ship Discoverer Enterprise to halt collection of oil from the ruptured well into a containment vessel located a mile below, on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. Collection resumed after 30 minutes, the command said on its website.

Officials had reported earlier in the day that a nearly five-hour suspension of oil-containment efforts occurred after a lightning strike started a fire aboard the ship. The containment resumed at 2:15 p.m. (3:15 p.m. ET), the website said.

- Former Justice Department Inspector General Michael R. Bromwich has been appointed by President Obama to lead changes to the Minerals Management Service as the agency is restructured.

- Government officials Tuesday increased the estimate of oil flowing into the Gulf to between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels (1.5 million to 2.5 million) per day, up to 50 percent more than previously estimated.

- Seafood from the Gulf available to consumers in stores and restaurants is safe, a Food and Drug Administration official told a Senate committee Tuesday.

- Congressional Republicans accused President Barack Obama and his allies in Congress Tuesday of "exploiting" the disaster to push for their comprehensive energy legislation. GOP leaders argue the Democrats' proposals would have a devastating impact on the struggling U.S. economy.

- Health threats from the Gulf oil disaster could last for years, and officials lack knowledge on how long chemicals in the spilled oil and dispersants will remain toxic, a health expert told a Senate committee Tuesday.

- BP said a fire aboard a drill ship Tuesday caused the company to suspend its oil-siphoning operation from a ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico.

- Federal authorities announced guidelines Tuesday to speed up maritime waivers that would allow more foreign ships - in addition to the 15 already in the Gulf of Mexico - to assist in oil cleanup efforts.

"Should any waivers be needed, we are prepared to process them as quickly as possible to allow vital spill response activities being undertaken by foreign-flagged vessels to continue without delay," said Adm. Thad Allen, the government's response manager.

- President Barack Obama said Tuesday that oil gushing into the Gulf was "an unprecedented environmental disaster" that will be met with an "unprecedented response."

- Lawmakers attacked the heads of oil companies during hearings Tuesday on Capitol Hill. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, said during a key House
subcommittee hearing  that four of the five largest oil companies have produced disaster response plans that discuss how to protect walruses, even though there are no walruses in the Gulf. These are "cookie-cutter plans" that, in reality, are little more than "just paper exercises," he said.

- Rep. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, ripped the heads of ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, and Shell Oil at the start of the hearing for
producing disaster response plans that are "virtually identical." They all tout "ineffective identical equipment" and often use "the exact same words" in their plans, he said. They have spent "zero time and money" in developing adequate response blueprints, he asserted.

- BP has accelerated payments in the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, approving 337 checks for $16 million to businesses that have filed claims in excess of $5,000, the company said Tuesday.

- President Barack Obama will continue his Gulf Coast visit Tuesday with a stop in Florida's Panhandle, where beaches have started to see
signs of oil as crude continues to gush from a ruptured deepwater well. Obama, on his fourth trip to the region since oil began spewing from the well in April, is scheduled to return to Washington later Tuesday and address the nation about the situation from the Oval Office.

- Obama will give a speech of support for oil-impacted communities and American troops while at Pensacola's Naval Air Station Tuesday
morning, an administration official said.

- Rep. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, will have a chance to grill executives from five major oil companies on Capitol Hill. The witness list for Tuesday's hearing of his House Energy and Environment subcommittee includes chief executives of BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell Oil. Markey, a longtime opponent of offshore drilling and vocal critic of BP's response to the oil disaster, told CNN that the purpose of the hearing is to "establish whether or not BP is the rule or the exception" in terms of its ability to respond to a massive oil spill.

- BP officials have turned to a new source for help with their oil cleanup efforts: actor Kevin Costner. The oil giant announced Monday that it had ordered 32 machines from Costner's company, the actor told AC360 in an exclusive interview.

CLEANUP

- BP reported that a cap over the subsea gusher collected 7,620 barrels of oil (320,000 gallons) from midnight to noon Monday. Federal researchers estimate the well has spewed between 20,000 and 40,000 barrels (840,000 to 1.7 milllion gallons) of crude into the Gulf every day for weeks.

- BP expects to be able to contain 50,000 barrels (2.1 million gallons) of the now-gushing oil per day by the end of June - two weeks earlier than previously thought, according to White House spokesman Bill Burton.

- The State Department said Monday that 17 foreign countries and four international bodies have offered equipment, expertise and other assistance to respond to the Gulf oil disaster. Offers accepted so far include two skimmers and 13,780 feet of boom from Mexico, eight skimming systems from Norway, three sets of surface-oil clearing systems from the Netherlands, and 9,843 feet of containment boom from Canada.

- Coast Guard, wildlife, environmental and BP officials will host three open houses Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Louisiana. The open houses will give residents the opportunity to talk to experts about the techniques, strategies and materials being used in the response.

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

- President Barack Obama said Monday that preliminary talks have started with BP executives to try to reach an agreement at his meeting Wednesday with top company officials on how to ensure that damage claims from the Gulf disaster are processed quickly and fairly.

- A White House spokesman said Monday that the administration is confident that it has the legal authority to force BP to set up an escrow account for the purpose of paying damages.

POLITICS

- President Barack Obama, on his fourth trip to the affected region since the disaster began, said Monday that the "full

- resources of the federal government are being mobilized to confront" the spill and its impact on the Gulf Coast.

- Obama's trip is slated to continue in Pensacola, Florida, on Tuesday where he "will deliver a message of support to Pensacola and (Florida) Panhandle communities affected by the spill, and a message of support to troops in time of war," an administration official said Monday.

- The president is also scheduled to deliver an address to the nation Tuesday night.

- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, along with most other Senate Democrats, sent a letter to embattled BP chief Tony Hayward on Monday, urging the company to set aside $20 billion for the purposes of covering both economic damages and Gulf cleanup costs.

- Obama announced the remaining five members of a commission he appointed to investigate the spill. They include: Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences; Terry Garcia, executive vice president for mission programs for the National Geographic

- Society; Cherry Murray, dean of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; and Frances Ulmer, chancellor of the University of Alaska-Anchorage.

- A new national poll indicates that most Americans don't think Obama has been tough enough on BP.

- A letter released Monday to Hayward from House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-California,

- says a congressional investigation indicates BP took a low-cost, speedy approach to drilling the broken deepwater well responsible for the spill.

- Hayward is expected to testify before Waxman's committee Thursday.

soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. damiao

    http://www.englishtips-self-taught.blogspot.com thanks for visit my webblog

    June 15, 2010 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

      -
      -
      the US Coast Guard gave to BP only 48 hours (expired) to find the right way to FIX the oil spill issue
      -
      BP hasn't proposed NEW, BETTER AND FASTER SOLUTIONS, as clearly required by U.S. Coast Guard
      but ONLY some NEW "PROMISES" to solve the problem more quickly... just another couple of months
      -
      so, I've developed a new and BETTER "super cap" that can be built and installed in a couple of days
      -
      read a description with the drawing of my new idea in my article latest update: http://bit.ly/c8y9GX
      -
      the only other alternatives to my simple, cheap, fast to build and install proposal to fix the leak are:
      -
      1. the (unknown) new "cap" ready for mid-july after 50,000,000 more gallons of oil spilled in the Gulf
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      2. a drilling of the two relief wells finished in mid-august after 100,000,000 more gallons of oil spilled
      -
      -

      June 15, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • WARNING!!!!!!

      I clicked on this link and it locked my computer up!!!! DO NOT click on this link!!!!!!

      June 15, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • qwerasdf

      @BreakingNewsBlog.us: Uh oh! More 5 year old drawings the equivalent of an imaginative child. No science, no facts, no evidence, no math, no calculations showing why any of his solutions work.

      Instead it's typical BP bashing (nothing wrong with bashing BP though) without a solution. You claim you have something better and BP should listen to you. Why? Why is the US government not calling you? Why aren't you world famous yet? Why aren't your genius ideas being used ANYWHERE? Oh wait, you only make MS Paint drawings with ZERO scientific knowledge. I bet you never even made it out of a decent school. Otherwise you would be writing scientific journals and getting your articles published. But then again what do you expect from someone who can't spell "oxygen?"

      June 15, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

      .
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      a company that spends $50 million in TV spots to (try to) justify its mistakes, surely, has some hundreds dollars to pay a team of "web-PR-guys"... 😐
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      .
      .

      June 15, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

      .
      .
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      just ONE example of the value of my ideas...
      .
      the "stellar expensive" ($200 billion R&D) Constellation program has been deleted...
      .
      the Direct.LOBBY's rockets has been definitely IGNORED... bit.ly/bh0YeY
      .
      and, now, NASA suggests/wants to develop a new shuttle-derived HLV rocket:
      .
      nasawatch.com/archives/2010/06/shuttle-derived.html
      .
      well, it is EXACTLY the SAME concept of the shuttle-derived FAST-SLV that I've proposed over FOUR YEARS AGO (and in ALL these 4 years!) on my website: bit.ly/9cbsFB
      .
      and on (several hundreds!!!) threads, posts and comments on space and science forums and blogs, worldwide!!!
      .
      please note, that, this "new" NASA proposal (in its inline version) isn't "similar" to my FAST-SLV concept but E-X-A-C-T-L-Y THE SAME of MY four-years-old idea!!!
      .
      FOUR YEARS LOST (AND $9 BILLION BURNED) FOR NOTHING... 😐
      .

      well, I hope that BP (after the GIANT mistake of the cutted riser) won't wait FOUR YEARS (after another 2,000,000,000 more gallons of oil spilled in the Gulf) before adopt my excellent ideas (some already published, other to be published soon on my blog) to solve the oil spill problem!!!
      .
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      .

      June 15, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

      .
      .
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      please note, that, one of the main limits we all have to propose more detailed ideas to fix the oil leak is that BP (as happened with the "5,000 barrels" of spilled oil per day figure... later resulted OVER TEN TIMES HIGHER...) wants our ideas, but, STILL doesn't release detailed and accurate info and data about the oil pressure, the wellhead drawings with detailed figures of the dimensions of all its parts, etc. !!!!!!!!!
      .
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      .

      June 15, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • qwerasdf

      Actually your excellent ideas are as good as a 5 year old with a crayon. You have no science, no facts, no data, no math, nothing on your site that shows ANY validity in your ideas. You talk about excellent. How? Just in an imaginative sense? You haven't proven anything? It's like me saying "Why don't we put a giant band aid on it?" Won't it solve the problem? Yeah in a retarded sense. Good job kid, no one cares about your junk.

      That's why BP, NASA, governments won't call on you. You're a joke.

      Like I said, if you even have an education, you would be able to publish scientific journals instead of dumb blogs with caps and a bunch of !!!!!!!!s

      June 16, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  2. Larry Mayes

    When looking at the underwater scene of the oil leaking,it occured to me that a possible fix might be had by removing
    the pipe and flange atop the blowout preventer. Then provide a Flanged Valve (opened) to bolt to the flange. When finished, close the valve!!!!

    June 15, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • ucbwill

      At 5000ft below the surface?

      June 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tired of the BS

    dear mr. obama....I don't care whether you go "look at it" or not.....DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

    June 15, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      I couldn't agree more....ever hear the old adage "actions speak louder than words"......OBAMA CAN YOU GET YOUR OUT OF YOUR *&^ AND DO SOMETHING?!?!

      June 15, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      All the poeple demanding that the president do "something" about it. what do you want him to do? throw on a wet suit and cap it himself? order BP to fix it faster or they will be flogged? really think about it before you start shooting off at the key board.

      They tried to fix it, they are trying to fix it. How come your not doing something about it?

      June 15, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachel D

      You know, it's important to be passionate about what goes on in your country. If something goes wrong, get angry! You can't criticize someone's anger at a monstrous oil spill. And sitting around thinking that it's irrational to be angry about a problem that you can't fix as an individual certainly won't correct the problem either.

      I'm extremely angry and saddened by this event, and I think Obama should be doing more!! Sure, he's traveling and talking to citizens in Florida, but I didn't vote for a soothing face. I voted for an active president who will motivate people to put their brains together and fix this problem NOW!

      June 15, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. AS

    There is no way of stopping the leak. This will go on for years and only God can save us now. it will spread to both east and west coasts

    June 15, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Bonk

      If god wanted to save us he would have already, or better yet, not let the leak happen.

      But wait, god isn't real, and we will find our own way to fix it someday. Or not, nobody knows, and no amount of prayer will give us the answer to it. If we find it on our own, then good for us, if not, oh well.

      June 15, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. paulo

    Bonk God capital letters, don't forget....

    June 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonk

      There's no need to capitalize god. Or his will, or his book, or his anything. I don't even see him as a fictional character, I don't see him as anything. I'd capitalize Spongebob Squarepants before I capitalize god.

      June 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • God

      I forgive you.....

      June 15, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonk

      @god ...thank you?

      June 15, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • God

      I am in you. I am waiting for you to accept Me.

      June 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonk

      I can't look inside myself because there is flesh in the way and if I try to open myself up and look I will bleed a lot. Xray shows skeleton bones and stuff. Stop using figures of speeches and maybe I'll find where you're hiding, Waldo.

      June 15, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Satan

      Hey guys whats goin on in this thread

      June 15, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • God

      @Bonk... I forgive you.

      @Satan... For great justice.

      June 20, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Coach Lew

    This oil spill is the worst disaster possible for the Gulf Coast so what are our leaders of this great nation doing? They are busy pointing fingers and making threats like little children. I don't have the answer to stop the leak but I would like to see qualified oil and oceanagraphic engineers sit down at a round table and come up with a solution soon. Our great President Barack Housein Obama is in a running scared mode and all he has accomplished so far is having a lot of photo's taken while making threats to BP and getting funds from them. He needs to turn the funds problem over to Vice President Joe Biden and then get himself on the phone to enlist the help of other nations. Maybe he doesn't know how to organize yet.

    June 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Do something

      you took the words right out of my mouth coach.

      June 15, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. paulo

    Bonk Stupid, God is God, and you are a worm

    June 15, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonk

      Too bad your god is stuck in a contract to 'love me forever' or something. Here, if you want me to love god the way you do, just pray for me 🙂

      If your prayer comes true, you know that your little god friend is real
      If your prayer doesn't come true, god doesn't want me to believe in him
      If 'satan' won't let god into my heart.. sounds like satan is a bit stronger than god. So why would I follow the weaker one?

      Doesn't matter what the result is really, just give it a prayer and lets see how effective it is. 🙂

      June 15, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Believer

      It's a deal Bonk, just remember, you have to open you heart to Him.

      June 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonk

      Actually, I don't have to do a thing. I don't have to 'let him' in anything. If he's at a god status, he can do what he wants. I don't have to let him in my heart or anything, what is he, a crippled child that I have to hold a door open for till he walks in? He can open a door just like the rest of us, I wanna see it happen. Or as you christian folks put it, I wanna 'feel his grace inside of me' or something of that nonsense.

      June 15, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • God

      No, Bonk, you have to choose to let me in. I only come unto them who seek me....

      June 15, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonk

      Hahaha ok so I should believe a guy based on nothing more than the fact that I should believe him. The only way to prove him to me is for me to 'look for him' and 'let him in'?

      I look in the sky, I don't see nothing.
      I ask aloud "hey god can you hear me" and I get no reply.
      I ask myself deep down in my heart, but turns out my heart only pumps blood and it's a figure of speech.
      I ask my soul, then it turns out my soul isn't an actual part of my body either.

      How do I seek someone out who isn't real? I imagined a crippled child of a god that can't even let himself in my heart would be easy to find. The wheelchair kid is always the easiest to spot in a group photo, after all. But where is this sad little crippled cosmic zombie jew hiding?

      June 15, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. char

    Day 57, Thats how many states obama said he has visited. lol

    June 15, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • How many states are there????

      No, no.....he said he visited 51, remember?

      June 15, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Beam Me Up Scotty

    I ask you, what do you think Obama can do that he isn't doing? I expect you to answer that you don't know. We don't know, BP doesn't know. Nobody knows.

    June 15, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jeez...

    Just what we need...another "czar" of something......mr. Obama sure likes to appoint "czars". I guess it makesit looks like he is doing something.

    June 15, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bailoutsos

    "NEW YORK -CNN Money - Executives from five of the world's largest oil companies are under fire on Capitol Hill Tuesday for having cookie-cutter contingency plans for dealing with disasters like the Gulf Coast oil spill.

    And not only that, those plans included "embarrassing" errors like a reference to protecting walruses, which haven't lived in the Gulf Coast for at least 3 million years, and the phone number of a marine biologist who died five years ago." --- Oh crap, contingent plans that are worried about walruses in the Gulf? Feel safer now?

    June 15, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. The Dude

    BP EXECS and EVERY REPUBLICAN TURD who has supported and profited from DEREGULATION, NEED to be CRIMINALLY prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for MURDERING THE GULF OF MEXICO AND THE SURROUNDING REGION.

    June 15, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Carlos

    http://www.englishtips-self-taught.blogspot.comDear friend Bonk, many thanks for comment in the blog, spread this idea overseas....

    June 15, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonk

      I've never replied to your stupid spam website Carlos. You can barely html properly, much less have a chance of spreding your 3rd-grade-level ideas overseas.

      June 15, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • qwerasdf

      Carlos, do your self a favor and learn English and learn web design. You're a joke.

      June 16, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Patricia Scaranzi

    Carlos don't give up, carry on, I support and access your blog everyday.

    June 15, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bailoutsos

    CNN Money - "Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, R-Louisiana went so far as to suggest McKay try a type of ritual suicide.' - That is a productive comment by a Republican.

    June 15, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
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