May 25th, 2010
11:20 AM ET

Day 36: What's happening with the Gulf Oil spill

George Barishich, a local shrimper, expresses his concerns about the oil spill at an open meeting with a BP representative.

BP has tried several methods to stop or contain the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, but 36 days after it began, all attempts by the company to cap the spill have failed.

So, what's happening today?

The company discussed  its latest attempt to contain the oil, a maneuver called a "top kill" that it plans to implement Wednesday.

Oil rig owner Transocean plans to hold a memorial service today to honor 11 workers who have been missing since the rig exploded.

What can we expect to happen next?

BP briefered on the "top kill," which including pumping thick, viscous fluid twice the density of water into the site of the leak to stop the flow so the well can then be sealed with cement. The top kill procedure has worked on above-ground oil wells in the Middle East but has never been tested 5,000 feet underwater. Still not sure how the "top kill" procedure works? Check out our explainer.

Who is leading the charge?

BP has been working over the past month to find a way to contain the oil, and as time goes on, some people are wondering just how much can the government do to help - and how much of the problem is for BP to solve.

CNN's Tom Cohen reports that legally, President Obama can effectively fire BP and have the federal government take over efforts to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The question is whether that would help the situation.

Why are the EPA and BP fighting about dispersants?

The federal government has instructed BP to scale back its use of oil dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that dispersants are breaking up much of the oil but that "we are making environmental tradeoffs" and are "deeply concerned" about potential side effects.

CNN's Ed Lavandera digs deeper into the issue.

Backlash against BP

Public patience is wearing thin in Louisiana, where fishing is a $2.4 billion industry, and the continued threat to seafood means there may be tough times again.

"BP We Want Our Beach Back" read one of many signs posted in Grand Isle, Louisiana.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has publicly expressed frustrations at the red tape hampering the oil cleanup in his state.

And on a major publicity front, BP is finding rough waters too: A fake BP public relations Twitter account is mocking the cleanup efforts and gaining a lot of attention. With posts from the account @BPGlobalPR directing people not to clean up the shores because the oil is BP's property and they will be sued, and one saying "the ocean looks just a bit slimmer today. Dressing it in black really did the trick! #bpcares" it is clear that frustration is growing against the company in some form.

And while it seems to be painfully obvious that the Twitter account is fake, it has more than double the number of followers of BP's actual Twitter account (@BP_America).

soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Nik Green

    Private enterprise screws up, and now we the tax payer picks up the tab. Yet again.

    May 25, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Unreal

    Someone dumped a 55-gallon barrel of used motor oil out in the parking lot of a BP gas station down the street from me. I thought it was nicely done, but I felt really bad for the owners of the gas station because it's not their fault that their parent company is incompetent.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Philip

      I had a recent convesation with someone about how it would be poetic justice for *rogue* clean up crews to get out there, mop up what they can, and drop it on the lawns of Sens. Landrieu and Vitter, Palin, the home offices of BP, Halliburton, TransOcean, etc. Wishful thinking, nothing by the way of actually endorsing such action since it only spreads the pollution further and nearer to human habitations. But fun to think about.


      May 25, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Diane

    Please join "Seize their Assets" on Facebook if you care at all about the tragedy that is unfolding.

    May 25, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dUMB

    Yes blow it up! what happens if you have a leak in an inflatable pool? You shoot it with a shotgun and it collapses in on itself!

    May 25, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ruffnutt

    ever try and fire a shotgun 500' underwater? what we need is about 1 ton of tampons or a bunch of diapers to jam in there.

    May 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. upstateNY,Ernest

    Hello every one!!! How are we all today????Here in upstate New York us rednecks see things a little differently; We define "Top Kill" AS such>>After all executives responsible at: Halleburton,Transocean and BP are found guilty of "Irreversible crimes against humanity"They all get the electric chair...."Just to be shure this will not happen again". The next logical move would be the "JUNK SHOT"... Which we define as in "Stuffing their lifeless electricuted bodies down the pipe "With great Speed: Into The Blow Out Preventer"...That i Beleive would work.

    May 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Eric from DC

    They need to construct a GIANT FUNNEL and shoot it up out the water and catch it at the top. A crain can center the GIANT FUNNEL over the hole and let it flow straight to the top.

    May 27, 2010 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. rhonda

    listening to the president today reminded me of the movie Jaws, when the mayor of the town said"It's safe to go into the water" we all know how that turned out!! I wouldn't step foot in that water right now, lets see obama and every other gov. official take their family down to the beaches on the gulf and spend some time in the water.

    May 28, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. james johnson

    The oil is coming up now and it isn't freezing outside of any pipe.. Maybe use a wide funnel (8 feet) with a wide wide tube (3 feet) that leads to the surface.

    June 7, 2010 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. james johnson

    If the navy had a sub down there the navy would come up with a solution to get that sub up. It is time to think outside of the F-ing box.

    June 7, 2010 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jan vermeulen

    Whey BP dont stop the leak?
    They arrive to saw the pipe and be eable to work with there Subsea robot with spanners !!!
    4 Feet Under the sawcut there's a pipe flange split the flange and install a new flange with valve in open position, bring it down and put it on 1 bolt then turn over the flange till its aligned with the bottem flange put half of bolts put a gasket and torque it up. Close the valve Im shure they get it full closed i don it several times with leaking pipes now it's with a subsea robot and a crane!
    The oilspill in the Gulf of Mexico can be handled by are Belgium Dredging company DEME of De Nul they have the technology and the equipment to clean up the Mess led BP managment wake up insted of trey to made saving with capture 15 or 20% from the enormous leak

    June 9, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
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