June 18th, 2010
09:50 AM ET

Day 60: Latest oil disaster developments

[Updated at 9:50 a.m.] Here are the latest developments on the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which unfolded after an explosion aboard the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon on April 20:

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

- CNN brings you an account of the night the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded based on exclusive interviews with five survivors and three of their wives conducted by CNN's Anderson Cooper and the CNN Special Investigations Unit. The interviews paint perhaps the most detailed picture yet of what happened - and the possible causes of the explosion. CNN producers Scott Bronstein and Wayne Drash report.

- Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Friday that approximately 25,000 barrels of oil - slightly over 1 million gallons - were collected from BP's ruptured Gulf well in the 24-hour period ending at midnight Thursday.

- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal criticized cleanup coordination Thursday.

"It is frustrating because it doesn't seem like the left hand knows what the right hand is doing," he said in a statement on his website. "There is no streamlined system here. This is why we keep stressing that we need to see more of a sense of urgency from the Coast Guard, federal officials and BP. We are in a war here - we are in a war against this oil that absolutely threatens our way of life."

CLEANUP

- Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa is demanding to know if BP knew the Deepwater Horizon well could be gushing as much as 60,000 barrels of oil a day, and failed to inform the public. A team of government and independent scientists announced Tuesday that the flow rate might be as high as 60,000 barrels a day, but Grassley believes BP may have known sooner. A BP document provided to the senator says "an absolute worst case flow rate of 60,000 barrels a day was calculated." The document does not have a date.

- BP said it captured about 8,000 barrels (336,000 gallons) of oil from midnight to noon Thursday.

- The drilling of two relief wells has reached depths of 15,226 feet and 9,778 feet respectively, but they are not expected to be completed until August, according to BP.

- The latest wildlife report said 629 oiled birds have been recovered alive while 829 were found dead and 103 sea turtles were recovered alive while 358 were found dead.

PAYMENT

- BP has agreed to place $20 billion in an escrow fund to help compensate those affected by the oil disaster. The fund "will not supersede individuals' or states' rights to present claims in court," President Obama said. BP, he asserted, will remain liable for the environmental disaster in the Gulf.

- BP has agreed to create a $100 million fund for the purpose of compensating oil rig workers now unemployed as a result of closure of other deep-water rigs after the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion, Obama said.

- The judge BP wants to hear an estimated 200 lawsuits over the oil disaster gets tens of thousands of dollars a year in oil royalties and paid travel to industry conferences, financial disclosure forms show. Lawyers who practice before U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes say he's tough but fair, and a CNN review of his cases found he ruled in favor of oil companies only slightly more often than he ruled against them.

POLITICS

- Rep. Bart Stupak closed a hearing on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico - held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations - by telling BP CEO Tony Hayward, "I think the evasiveness of your answers only served to increase the frustration, not
decrease the frustration, not just of members of Congress, but that of the American people."

- During the hearing, Hayward said, "There are no suggestions I have seen so far that anyone put cost ahead of safety." Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia fired back, "With all due respect, Mr. Hayward, I think you're copping out."

- After Hayward testified that some oil samples in the Gulf were related to the Deepwater Horizon leak while others were not, and he avoided directly answering a question about whether there were plumes in the water, Democratic Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts charged, "Your testimony continues to be at odds to all independent scientists."

- Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas retracted his apology to BP on Thursday and issued his own apology for calling the $20 billion damage fund created by the oil giant a "shakedown."

- Barton had been told by House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, to "apologize immediately" or lose his position on the committee, according to a senior House GOP leadership aide.

- The retraction came after the White House pounced on Barton's comment. "What is shameful is that Joe Barton seems to have more concern for big corporations that caused this disaster than the fishermen, small business owners and communities whose lives have been devastated by the destruction," said a statement from spokesman Robert Gibbs.

- Police arrested Diane Wilson of the activist group Code Pink for disrupting the hearing Thursday just as Hayward was beginning his testimony. "You need to go to jail," she shouted. She has been charged with unlawful conduct for disrupting Congress.

- Six in 10 Americans disapprove of how Obama's handling the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a jump from last month, according to a new national poll. A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey also indicated that a vast majority of the public disapproves of how BP has handled the environmental disaster and two-thirds say making a profit rather than cleaning up the spill is oil giant's
top priority.

soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. BreakingNewsBlog.us

    .
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    TWO MONTHS... AN COUNTING... !!!
    .
    read the (just published) update of my article, with my NEW idea to STOP the oil spill NOW, reusing (in a different way) the giant BP "dome" already used in the (failed) first attempt to fix the oil leak:
    .
    http://bit.ly/c8y9GX
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    DON'T WAIT OTHER TWO-THREE MONTHS OR MORE TO FIX THE PROBLEM !!!
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    .

    June 18, 2010 at 4:53 am | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

      .
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      despite the BP's claims that, now, they "collect more oil", the BP's live video of the wellhead, CLEARLY show that it gushes EXACTLY the same amount of oil (up to 60,000 barrels per day) of the early days, if not MORE:
      .
      http://www.deepwaterbp.com/
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      .
      .

      June 18, 2010 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
    • nitzer

      At this point if you are in Louisiana, Alabama or Mississippi coast and make you living off fishing in the gulf you might want to start putting your house up for sale and moving elsewhere. I doubt they reopen fishing in the gulf for at least 10 years. SC, Georgia, Florida east coast probably your best bet.

      June 18, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

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      Look at this AMAZING SCOOP about how NASA might help BP to quickly STOP the oil spill (in a few days) using an (giant and very strong) External Tank of the Space Shuttle!!!
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      http://bit.ly/c8y9GX
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      .
      .
      .

      June 18, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • asdfqwer

      Zero science (CHECK)
      Zero math (CHECK)
      Zero calculations (CHECK)
      Zero facts (CHECK)
      Zero research (CHECK)
      5 year old imagination with a crayon (CHECK)
      No education (CHECK)
      Poor English (CHECK)
      Can't spell Oxygen (CHECK)
      Crappy idea that BP, US Gov, any government, any company won't take (CHECK)
      Ugly website (CHECK)
      Spam (CHECK)
      Someone who doesn't know how to skip lines and puts idiotic periods (CHECK)

      June 18, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harry Turner

      I believe ya'll should freeze the well heads.

      June 20, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. vijay patil

    yes we can stop oil leak.

    June 18, 2010 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
  3. R U Kidding Me

    Day 60 ... need I say more. BOYCOTT BP! They have generated the highest yearly revenue, placing themselves in the top 3 richest corporations over the 5 years. They have the funding spend it!

    June 18, 2010 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Brendan12345

      Why boycott them when we haven't even spent their $2bn yet?

      June 18, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brendan12345

      ...sorry my mistake $20bn... I even left a zero out!!?!

      June 18, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • I wonder

      Boycotting BP harms small business men more than it hurts BP. Get your head on straight.

      June 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • ratkartz

      The "they" of BP, who are the recipients of the benefits of petro income, are the holders of teacher pensions, equity funds and other portfolios for Joe Sixpack whose funds almost invariably include energy stocks. Last time I looked, many local governments held Prudential – Equity Income, which has nearly 9 percent of that portfolio in BP. Even people who attended public schools can learn to understand about publicly held and traded corporations and the losses that retired people will suffer as a result of the foaming-mouth madness toward BP.

      June 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jasie

      You would only hurt the big people. Just think of all the people who earn their living from the oil industry. Obama wants to send those jobs to other countries so people like George Soros can increase their fortunes! What about jobs for us?

      June 18, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jack

    Sounds like Governor Jindal doesn't want to listen to the coastguard when they tell him they are concerned for the safety of the citizens, wildlife and coastline; the coastguard needs to check things out to make sure the ideas and suggestions given by Jindal, aren't going to make the problems they are experiencing worst. I realize he's afraid of whats happening to his state, but he needs to work with the government, not against them.

    June 18, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Stan Willmann

      Keep in mind that this guy, just a few months ago, was the "rising star" in the Party of No. He was preaching the doctrine of less government, less regulation, less federal interference in state affairs. Now he has a problem that he had NO plan to deal with. No plan, no equipment, no one trained to respond to an accident by his state's biggest industry. Now he screams for the big federal government to save him from his ignorance! I hope his political career is over!!!

      June 18, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. KcarabAmabo

    The good news is that in 2012 BP is going to ensure Obama, the fake President, is ousted and Republicans take office.

    June 18, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Lollercoaster

      @KcarabAmabo Why 2012, how did you come to that conclusion and how is that good news? I'm voting Whig, they couldn't possibly be any worse.

      June 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • pkfops

      The GOP may have trouble finding votes since the only plan they can come up with is to apologize to BP.

      June 18, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Connie

    So what, exactly, is Governor Jindal doing about the spill? I mean, besides whining that the feds aren't doing enough (i.e., President Obama isn't doing enough). I think that states have sovereignty over their coastlines–has he initiated a suit against BP on behalf of Louisiana? Has he freed up any state funds? Maybe so–I hope so–but I'm getting tired of his constant critique when the feds are pouring money and manpower into the cleanup.

    June 18, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Robb

      Connie, actually, the USCG has jurisdiction over this, and this was in international waters in the US economic exclusion zone. So, states don't have sovereignty on this, and there's little that any one governor can do. This is all on the federal government, since all oil pulled from the well can be taken to any port – not just Louisiana.

      It's bad for everyone. If we were to avoid the blame and politics game for now, we might be able to focus on fixing the problem instead of fixing the blame.

      But BP keeps saying they've fixed it and then we sort of find out they didn't. Obama keeps letting BP work it – we might be better to get some American oil companies on the job and ban BP from all offshore activities in US zones since they had not properly prepared for such an incident – much less, an incident 1/10th the magnitude of this. Just my opinion, though, and I'm sure not connected to it. I do blame the "shareholder mentality" where corners get cut in favor of quarterly profits – and reputations are gambled like stolen money.

      June 18, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Unfortunately the American oil companies don't know how to fix this problem either-they all had the same plans as BP.

      June 18, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stan Willmann

      Louisiana should have had a plan in place to deal with an oil industry accident. Oil is their biggest industry, yet they were totally unprepared. This is just plain ignorance! No plan, no equipment, no one trained to respond!

      June 18, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Harry Anderson

    All Offshore Drilling needs to be BANNED. Even with additional safety features, the wells are way too unpredictable. Humans can not even attempt repair without remote submarines, as you can see those things do nothing. It's just a matter of time before the other offshore oil rigs fail destroying the ocean and the planet permanently. For the sake of our kids, grand kids we must think beyond some quick cheap oil and think about our children. This is going to be their planet. Let’s keep it livable for them. Have some honor people.

    June 18, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. Wyatt

    Did anyone else notice that the 'Politics' section of this was about as long, if not slightly longer than the 'Latest Developments' and 'Cleanup' combined. The thing is still leaking, but politics are already top dog.

    June 18, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bert L. Friedman

    It's the end of the Gulf as we know it! It's the end of Gulf Oysters............
    Maybe we can have some fried Tony Hayworthless............................

    June 18, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jack Bauer

    They should have blown this well up day two. Just an example of corporate greed that will destroy our economy, the environment and the lives of millions who live on the gulf, all other who live in the US. This will also trickle down to the global ecomony and production. They should have blown it up and looked for oil elsewhere because we all know it's out there somewhere.

    June 18, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • ratkartz

      Blow up an oil well. Now there is the mark of true comprehension and intelligence.

      June 18, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack Bauer

      The Russians had the same problem, the dropped a bomb on it and sealed it. So you tell me what should be done.

      June 21, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bert L. Friedman

    Yes I said HAYWORTHLESS

    June 18, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bert L. Friedman

    I'm done with all politicians republicans democrats, phkem.
    Put scientists in their place. Oust them all and start over.
    mr. obama you are truly lame

    June 18, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ratkartz

    Maybe now some people will begin to understand that nuclear energy is comparatively clean.

    June 18, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stan Willmann

      Agree 100%! We are 30 years behind and need to catch up fast! There is no other "clean energy" source even close to solving our problem. Let's get moving NOW!

      June 18, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Nick Mendoza

    Oil Spill Problem Solved – Custom Clamp and Tapered Tube Design – THE MELODY TUBE – Go to Youtube Channel "THEMELODYTUBE"

    June 18, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Terry

    Mankind's entire way of modern life is wrapped around the lust for petroleum products. As many offshore wells as there are in this world, I am only surprised this did not happen sooner. Life in the Gulf of Mexico is going to change drastically as a result. FINALLY, the scientific data has caught up with the pictures of how much oil is spewing in the Gulf. Too bad it took a rocket scientist to figure it out...anyone with half a brain and a concept of liquid measurements could take ONE LOOK at the first pictures BP posted and tell it was WAY WAY more than 5,000 barrels a day. The problem is...noone involved seems to know how to stop this gusher. So excuse me for saying it, but it looks like BP has opened a real life Pandora's Box. And now, no matter what they say or do about it does not change the nature of what is going on each and every minute in the Gulf. It is always going to be too little, much too late, and unfortunately could continue conceivably until this mother load well runs dry.

    June 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
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