June 23rd, 2010
01:07 PM ET

Day 65: Latest developments in Gulf oil disaster

[Updated at 11:07 p.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

- BP on Wednesday night successfully repositioned a containment cap over the underwater gusher in the Gulf of Mexico after it removed the device earlier in the day when an undersea robot struck it.

- Obama administration lawyers on Wednesday night filed documents in federal court in New Orleans, Louisiana, signaling their intention to appeal Tuesday's ruling striking down a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling. The administration also asked the court to delay lifting the ban until an appeals court reviews the case.

- The request for a stay until the appeal is heard later this summer will be considered by Judge Martin Feldman, who firmly struck down the drilling ban, declaring it "arbitrary and capricious" in his ruling Tuesday. He could rule on the government's request as early as Thursday, officials said.

FULL POST

June 22nd, 2010
04:58 PM ET

Day 64: Latest oil disaster developments

[Updated at 8:42 p.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

- From midnight to noon Tuesday, BP collected about 8,195 barrels of oil (344,190 gallons) and about 5,045 barrels of oil (211,890 galllons) and 27.2 million cubic feet of natural gas were burned, the company said.

- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement Tuesday that a six-month halt on deepwater drilling is "needed" and "appropriate" after a federal judge in Louisiana blocked the moratorium. "We see clear evidence every day, as oil spills from BP's well, of the need for a pause on deepwater drilling," the statement said. "That evidence mounts as BP continues to be unable to stop its blowout, notwithstanding the huge efforts and help from the federal scientific team and most major oil companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico."

FULL POST

June 21st, 2010
01:40 PM ET

Day 63: Latest developments on the Gulf oil disaster

[Updated at 10:11 p.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:

NEW

- About 8,410 barrels of oil (353,220 gallons) were collected from midnight to noon Monday, according to BP. Another 5,015 barrels of oil (210,630 gallons) and 25.3 million cubic feet of natural gas were flared.

CLEANUP AND RECOVERY EFFORTS

- Government estimates say up to 2.5 million gallons of oil could be flowing into the Gulf daily.

- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has expanded fishing closures in the Gulf of Mexico. The closed area now represents 86,985 square miles - approximately 36 percent of the Gulf's federal waters.

FULL POST

June 21st, 2010
08:59 AM ET

New Orleans mayor says 'no quick fix' for oil disaster

"The catastrophic nature" of the oil disaster, "I still believe, is not fully known to us," New Orleans, Louisiana, Mayor Mitch Landrieu told CNN Monday. "It's really huge."

As far as the federal response, "it's never good enough. It's never fast enough," he said, adding he thinks the federal government turned a corner last week as far as getting people on the ground.

"There is no quick fix here," Landrieu said, "and I think people need to kind of get focused on that fact." He said he does not believe the underwater oil gusher will be stopped until a relief well under construction is complete in August.

June 18th, 2010
09:41 PM ET

Day 60: Gulf oil disaster developments

[Updated at 9:30 p.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:

NEW

- The chief of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. said Friday that the oil spill in the Gulf was the "the direct result of BP's reckless decisions and actions" and, as such, BP should continue to pay all legitimate claims. BP was the company's partner in the drilling of the well.

FULL POST

June 18th, 2010
05:20 PM ET

BP: CEO Hayward still leading disaster response

BP is clarifying comments Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg made Friday in a broadcast interview, saying BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward will relinquish control over the company's daily operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP spokesman Andrew Gowers says Svanberg was just reflecting a June 4 announcement about BP Managing Director Bob Dudley taking over the long-term disaster response. He said Hayward's current role has not changed.

BP spokesman Robert Wine says Dudley's duties involve political and community relationships. Dudley is from Mississippi, a state whose coast has been greatly affected by the oil spewing through the Gulf since the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off shore almost two months ago.

June 18th, 2010
03:07 PM ET

CNN Poll: Half say Gulf will never recover

Nine in ten Americans say that the situation in the Gulf of Mexico is still out of control, but roughly half say that it is not getting any worse, according to a new national poll.

But will the oil spill get any better?

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday indicates that about half the public says that the Gulf will eventually recover, with half saying that will never happen.

According to the poll, opposition to increased offshore drilling has grown 10 points since May and is now twice as high as it was in 2008. Fifty-eight percent of those questioned support a six-month moratorium on new drilling in the Gulf and other offshore sites; 68 percent favor increased regulation of the oil industry in this country.

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June 17th, 2010
02:42 PM ET

Lawmaker to BP CEO: 'I think you're copping out'

Read the full CNNMoney.com story

[Updated at 5:52 p.m.] Rep. Bart Stupak closed the hearing 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."

[Updated at 2:42 p.m.] BP CEO Tony Hayward told Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, he talks at least once a day with Adm. Thad Allen, the head of the federal government's Gulf oil spill response.

[Updated at 2:37 p.m.] BP CEO Tony Hayward told Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, "We would like to resolve this issue as well as everyone else."

[Updated at 2:32 p.m.] "There are no suggestions I have seen so far that anyone put cost ahead of safety," said BP CEO Tony Hayward, in response to grilling from Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia, who responded, "With all due respect, Mr. Hayward, I think you're copping out."

[Updated at 2:26 p.m.] After BP CEO Tony 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 Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts charged, "Your testimony continues to be at odds to all independent scientists."

FULL POST

June 17th, 2010
12:02 PM ET

Day 59: Gulf oil disaster developments

[Updated at 10:49 p.m.] Here are the latest developments on the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which unfolded after an April 20 explosion aboard the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon:

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

- 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 said: "Your testimony continues to be at
odds to all independent scientists."

- Republican 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 claimed it was not government regulators' practice to follow regulations on blowout preventers, according to a June 16 letter from Sen. Charles Grassley obtained by CNN.

- Police arrested Diane Wilson of the activist group Code Pink, accusing her of disrupting the congressional 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.

- 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.

FULL POST

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.

FULL POST

June 15th, 2010
10:36 AM ET

GOP lawmaker: Let's just discuss how to 'plug the well'

[Updated at 10:16 a.m.] Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, slammed Democrats at the start of a key House subcommittee hearing with oil executives Tuesday, arguing that the hearing was merely an "excuse for passing even more regulations" and increasing energy taxes "under the guise of clean energy."

We should just discuss how to "plug the well, stop the spill (and) clean the Gulf," he said. The Democrats are pushing an agenda that will further "cripple the economy," he said.

[Updated at 9:58 a.m.] Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, said during a key House subcommittee hearing Tuesday that four of the five largest oil companies have produced oil disaster response plans for the Gulf of Mexico 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.

FULL POST

June 14th, 2010
03:19 PM ET

Day 56: Latest developments in Gulf oil disaster

[Updated at 10:34 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:

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.

FULL POST

June 11th, 2010
09:07 PM ET

Day 53: Latest developments on the Gulf oil disaster

[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 NEWS

- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused BP of having "misrepresented what their technology could do." 
 
- Oil giant BP gets support from billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg: "The guy that runs BP didn't exactly go down there and blow up the well," he told a radio program. 
 
- Nearly 42,000 claims have been submitted and more than 20,000 payments made, totaling more than $53 million, BP says. So far, the cost of the response is $1.43 billion, it said. 
 
- Uncertainty about the depth of BP's pockets has spurred calls for the company to suspend its dividend payments. London's TimesOnline reported Friday that the company may funnel its second-quarter dividend into an escrow account to be paid to shareholders. 
 
- More than 25,000 contractors, volunteers and members of the military were involved on the ground, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said. 
 
- As early as Monday, BP plans to deploy a secondary to a primary cap that was put in place over the leaking well last week. Allen has said he expects that the Q4000 will be able to take an additional 5,000 to 10,000
barrels per day. 
 
- A delegation of U.S. senators traveled Friday to the heart of coastal Louisiana to assess the damage. "Until you see if first-hand, until you really smell it, get a sense of it, you can't understand it fully," said Sen. David Vitter, R-Louisiana. 

- An Obama adviser brushed off assertions Friday that the government had not prepared for a disaster of such magnitude. 

- If the latest estimate of 1.7 million gallons of oil spewing per day is correct, that would mean 90.1 million gallons have spewed in the 53 days since the rig exploded. That's more than eight times the amount spilled by the supertanker Exxon Valdez in Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989.

- The U.S. government has spent about $140 million in cleaning up the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, Adm. Thad Allen, the government's response manager, said Friday. He said federal authorities plan to keep "pouring in assets."

- Federal authorities are considering BP's proposals for increased oil collection rates and back-up plans and will make a determination later Friday on whether they are acceptable, said Adm. Thad Allen, the government's Gulf of Mexico disaster response manager. BP had been given 72 hours to deliver its plans.

- British Prime Minister David Cameron will discuss BP when he speaks by phone with U.S. President Barack Obama this weekend, Cameron's office at Downing Street said Friday. The phone call follows concern about anti-British rhetoric from Obama and others in America about BP's role in the disaster.

FULL POST

June 10th, 2010
03:17 PM ET

Day 52: Latest oil disaster developments

[Updated 7:06 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

- National Incident Commander Thad Allen sent a letter Thursday to BP board Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg asking that he "and any appropriate officials from BP" meet Wednesday with senior administration officials, including President Obama. Read the letter

- The flow of oil from the broken pipe in the Gulf of Mexico - before an insertion tube was placed inside, and BP cut the pipe and put a containment cap on the blowout preventer on June 3 - is now estimated to be from 20,000 barrels to 40,000 barrels per day, a federal scientist said Thursday. The previous estimate by researchers, made two weeks ago, was 12,000 to 19,000 barrels per day.

- BP announced $25 million grants to Alabama, Florida and Mississippi.

FULL POST

June 9th, 2010
11:26 AM ET

Day 51: Latest oil disaster developments

[Updated at 10:01 p.m. ET] It's Day 51 of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Here are the latest developments on the oil disaster, which unfolded after the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20:

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar defended the Obama administration's six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling, which has come under fire from critics who argue that the drilling is vital for reducing the dependence on foreign oil.

- Federal agencies responsible for monitoring the toll to wildlife reported Wednesday that 442 oiled birds have been collected alive; 633 were dead. The report said 50 sea turtles have been collected alive; 272 were dead.

- Government scientists estimate that the spill's flow rate after last week's cut of the well's riser pipe increased by 4 to 5 percent. That's well below an increase of as much as 20 percent that administration officials had indicated could happen.

- States are tracking the disaster's health impact, including respiratory and skin irritation problems in Louisiana and Alabama, health officials said.

- BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles denied Wednesday that BP has ordered cleanup workers not to talk to reporters.

- Federal authorities gave BP until Friday to come up with a contingency plan for collecting gushing oil. In a letter written Tuesday to BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles, the government instructed the company to submit redundancy plans in the event of operation failures or severe weather that could disrupt the continuous recovery of oil.

CLEANUP

- BP said Wednesday that it has collected about 57,500 barrels (2.4 million gallons) of oil since it placed a containment cap on its ruptured well.

- A second ship, the Massachusetts, started transferring crude oil Wednesday from the Discoverer Enterprise, which has been collecting the oil pumped up from the well cap, BP said.

- Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Wednesday that slightly more than 15,000 barrels of oil - more than 630,000 gallons - were recovered from the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico in the 24-hour period ending Tuesday at midnight. A BP spokesman placed the total figure at 15,006 barrels.

- In addition to the letter to Suttles, Allen wrote to BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward asking for the development of better redundancies in the company's short- and long-term containment plans.

-The letter to Hayward also highlights concerns over BP's ability to effectively process damage claims associated with the Gulf disaster.

ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE

- BP provided more insight into its claims process Tuesday, saying that as of Monday, it has paid nearly $49 million to individuals and businesses affected by the spill. The company also said it expects to issue a second round of payments this month to cover anticipated lost income or profits, bringing the total it has paid to about $84 million.

- Alabama Gov. Bob Riley said Tuesday that he was frustrated with BP's reimbursement process, announcing that he will send National Guard troops and emergency management workers into affected communities to help residents with the preparation of claims forms.

POLITICS

- The oil disaster took center stage on Capitol Hill on Wednesday as House and Senate panels tackled issues ranging from safety to cleanup to liability.

- President Obama will make another visit to the Gulf Coast next week to review efforts to contain and clean up the worst oil spill in U.S. history, the White House announced Tuesday.

- BP's Hayward has been asked to appear at a hearing June 17 before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

- Norway has suspended issuing deepwater drilling licenses until it has more information on the BP oil disaster, according to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

- Advocacy groups are planning a nationwide vigil for later this month. Hands Across the Sand and Sierra Club leaders announced Wednesday a "National Day of Action" for June 26. The groups said it could be "the largest gathering ever of Americans against offshore drilling."

- In a letter to rig owner Transocean released Tuesday, Rep. Nick Rahall, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, raised concerns about staffing shortages aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig on the day of the explosion, citing daily drilling reports provided by the company. Rahall, D-West Virginia, requested additional information in the letter.

- Top congressional Democrats renewed their push Wednesday for legislation that would remove all oil spill liability caps - a move some Republicans warn will lead to stronger monopolies in the energy sector while increasing U.S. dependence on foreign oil sources. "If you or I ... got into an accident that we caused, [we'd be] responsible for all the damages," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. "There would be "no caps in that case, and there should be no caps in this case."

June 9th, 2010
10:09 AM ET

Oil response team demands BP transparency

Adm. Thad Allen, the retired Coast Guard commandant overseeing the response to BP's oil spill, sent a letter to Chief Executive Tony Hayward demanding more information on compensation provided to people affected by the disaster.

FULL POST

June 8th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Day 50: 11 dead, unknown gallons of oil, no end in sight

[Updated at 5:51 p.m.] We've reached the milestone of Day 50 of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which has become the biggest one in U.S. history. The government's point man on the response says it could take until the fall for the underwater gusher to be capped, and years until the environment damaged by the disaster is restored.

While BP tries to continues to work on how to stop the oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico, anger is growing over who is to blame.

BP has been met with harsh criticism for not being prepared for the worst-case scenario and for the amount of trouble it is having capping the leak. Take a look at all of the efforts they've tried, what BP hoped would happen and how it worked out.

The oil rig explosion killed 11 people and is now leading to an environmental disaster threatening the livelihoods of those in the fishing, seafood and tourism industries.

So now, advocacy group MoveOn is planning to hold nationwide vigils Tuesday night to call for stepped-up efforts to stop the spill. And people across the country have been protesting BP and complaining about the lack of coordination and attempts to really work to stop the damage.

BP and officials say they're trying their hardest, but they've encountered trouble along the way. The biggest problem? The sheer amount of oil and the difficulty in controlling where it is going, according to the government's point man, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen.

Now, in addition to fighting a battle in the Gulf, BP is also fighting a massive public relations battle.

FULL POST

June 8th, 2010
12:09 PM ET

Oil disaster’s ripple effect in the Twin Cities

Coastal Seafood in Minneapolis distributes seafood from all over the world.

There’s very little for sale on the ice-lined shelves of Minneapolis’ Coastal Seafood that comes from the Gulf of Mexico.

But that doesn’t mean the Gulf oil disaster isn’t having a small ripple effect on the seafood industry in the Twin Cities.

FULL POST

June 7th, 2010
12:36 PM ET

Day 49: Latest oil disaster developments

Oil pools near a boom alongside Cat Island near Grand Isle, Louisiana.

[Updated at 7:22 p.m.] It's Day 49 of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. We'll be bringing you the latest developments on the story throughout the day. Here's where we stand right now.

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

- Workers in Louisiana have built about 2 miles of sand berms along the state's coast, Gov. Bobby Jindal said.

- BP Managing Director Bob Dudley said the company has agreed to pay $360 million toward the berm project, which is aimed at raising walls of sand along Louisiana barrier islands to catch the oncoming slick.

- Heavy oil was spotted at several points along the southeastern Louisiana coast, state officials reported.

- Tar balls ranging in size from less than an inch to about 4 inches continued to wash up on Florida's Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key on Monday, but the oil sheen remained 5 to 10 miles offshore, Escambia County Commissioner Gene Valentino said.

- Frustration is "rapidly escalating" along the Gulf Coast, Kelby Linn, a real estate agent and Chamber of Commerce official on Alabama's Dauphin Island, told a House subcommittee meeting in Louisiana. "We do not feel that BP is going to be stepping up to the plate," Linn said.

- The widows of two men killed aboard the offshore drill rig that sank in April, ripping open the undersea gusher, told members of Congress that more needs to be done to keep oil companies from putting profits ahead of safety.

- "Let's not place the importance of oil over the importance of a life," said Natalie Roshto, whose husband, Shane, was aboard the rig. But both she and Courtney Kemp, whose husband also died aboard the Deepwater Horizon, said they still supported drilling in the Gulf.

- A BP spokesman told CNN, "BP's priority is always safety."

CLEANUP

- BP says that it has closed one of four valves on the top of the cap that it had put in place last week, and that the process is working well. The company says it may not close all four of the valves because engineers think the valves may be releasing more gas than oil.

- Federal authorities reopened about 340 square miles of federal waters off the Florida Panhandle east of Destin to fishing Monday after finding no sign of oil in that area, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration announced.

- The federal government has accepted Canada's offer of 3,000 meters - or more than 9,800 feet - of ocean boom to help combat the oil disaster, a State Department spokesman said Monday. The boom is expected to arrive in the Gulf on Tuesday.

–The total amount of crude being collected from the ruptured undersea well responsible for the Gulf oil disaster increased Sunday to roughly 466,000 gallons, or 11,100 barrels, according to estimates from BP and Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the federal government's response manager for the spill. On Saturday, BP indicated that it had increased the amount of crude being funneled to the surface to roughly 441,000 gallons.

- Since the containment cap was installed Friday, the total number of gallons of oil being captured on a daily basis has nearly doubled, Allen said at the White House on Monday. BP "anticipates moving another craft" to the well site shortly in order to raise the capacity of oil that could be captured on a daily basis to roughly 840,000 gallons, or 20,000 barrels, Allen said.

- Allen said Monday that roughly 120 miles of coastline in the Gulf of Mexico have been affected by the spill and it could take years to fully restore the environment impacted by the disaster.

Allen said BP has made progress, but cautioned it was too early to call efforts a success. "We're making the right progress. I don't think anyone should be pleased as long as there's oil in the water," he said.

After reviewing new images and data, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reopened more than 16,000 square miles of ocean along the Florida coast that was previously closed for fishing because of the oil spill.

More than 13,000 square miles of that lie just west of the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas. But the federal agency also closed a 2,275-square mile area off the Florida Panhandle, extending the northern boundary just east of the western edge of Choctawhatchee Bay. That means that 32 percent of the Gulf still remains off limits for fishing.

POLITICS

- Sen. David Vitter, R-Louisiana, asked that the moratorium on deepwater drilling be lifted early.

- Allen was in Washington to brief President Obama and the cabinet on the administration's ongoing response to the incident.

- President Obama plans to personally offer his condolences to families who lost loved ones in the rig explosion, said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. The president has invited the families of the 11 dead workers to the White House on Thursday.

- The cost of the federal response effort to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill totaled $93 million as of June 1, according to a Friday letter from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen to congressional leadership. They are requesting that Congress approve a proposed
provision that would make available up to an additional $100 million to the Coast Guard.

June 7th, 2010
11:05 AM ET

Allen: It will take years after spill to restore environment

Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said the oil disaster will hold a siege on the Gulf until relief wells are completed at the end of the summer.

[Updated at 11:05 a.m.] Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the federal government's response manager for the oil disaster, said Monday that roughly 120 miles of coastline in the Gulf of Mexico have been affected by the spill and it could take years to fully restore the environment impacted by the disaster.

Allen, who was speaking at a White House press briefing, was asked about his speculation that the disaster would continue into the fall of this
year.

"Well, I think we need to be realistic and honest and transparent with the American people," Allen said. "You know, when the relief well is finished
and it's capped, sometime in August, oil will have flowed to the surface in some manner because we probably won't get 100 percent containment, we
want as much as we can get, so there'll still be oil on the surface the day the well is capped."

Allen was asked whether his assessment about months might be what some experts called a "pipe dream." He clarified that when he mentioned that
the spill would take months to clean up - he wasn't including the long-term environmental impact.

"Dealing with the oil spill on the surface is going to go on for a couple of months," he said. "After that it'll be taken care of. I agree with you, long-term issues of restoring the environment and the habitats and stuff will be - will be years."

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