BP says it has permanently capped the ruptured oil well. But Adm. Thad Allen tells American Morning's John Roberts that there's still a lot of work to do to ensure cleanup operations continue.
Roberts: "As of Friday, there [were] still 2,600 vessels out there, 2,500 people working on cleanup operations. How long will that process go on?
Allen: As long as it takes to get the marshes and the beaches clean. We have detailed plans we've negotiated with the states and the parishes in Louisiana. In some areas, we're going to stay with this for quite a while. They still have oil in them; we still need to work on it. And some of these places we're going to have to agree on when we agree nothing further can be done. But right now, we're still at it."
Roberts: BP has left open the possibility of drilling into the reservoir again. Certainly there's an awful lot of oil beneath the sea floor there. But the question many people might have is after what happened with that well, is it a good idea to tap back into that reservoir?
Allen: I think whether they tap back into that reservoir or not will be something between BP and the Department of Interior. That's a policy decision. Frankly, it's above my pay grade. But through the joint investigative team and the reviews going on, not only deep sea drilling, but the response itself, there'll be a high level of assurance taken by the government before any decision is made.
Roberts: What's your personal sense of it after being involved so long? Should they go back down there?
Allen: I think we've got a lot of problems with energy in this country related to fossil fuels and [there's a] need to move to other types of fuels. This will have to be a balanced discussion taking in the need to have an energy policy moving forward as we transition to more environmentally friendly fuels.
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