There’s no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my life back.
—Tony Hayward, BP CEO, May 30, 2010
Here are developments in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest in U.S. history:
* After BP Plc (BP.L) said the complex “top kill” maneuver to plug its Gulf of Mexico oil well had failed on Saturday, it is moving to the next option — the lower marine riser package cap, which will capture oil from the well rather than plug it.
* Government scientists estimated that cutting the riser pipe coming out of the blowout preventer to prepare for the next containment option could result in a temporary oil flow increase of up to 20 percent.
* The huge oil slick from the gushing well could threaten the Mississippi and Alabama coasts this week, driven by moderate southerly and southwesterly winds, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
* The NOAA forecast was a sober reminder that oil from the unchecked spill, broken up and carried by winds and ocean currents, could threaten a vast area of the U.S. Gulf Coast, including Florida, as well as Cuba and Mexico.
* President Barack Obama met on Tuesday with the co-chairs of a commission he set up to investigate the spill, former Senator Bob Graham and former Environmental Protection Agency chief William Reilly. Obama vowed to overhaul U.S. laws and regulations governing offshore drilling to prevent a repeat of the catastrophe.
* Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department has launched a criminal and civil investigation into the spill and rig explosion that killed 11 workers. The FBI is taking part.
The hell with all those polite investigations. I want it to look more like this…
Original DVD cover
(left to right: Tony I’m-Wearing-Rand-Paul’s-Hair Hayward, William No-I’m-Not-Bob-Newhart Reilly, Bob Graham, Eric Holder, Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen)
* Democratic lawmakers stepped up their calls for action. Representative Ed Markey called the spill an “environmental crime” and Senator Mary Landrieu demanded BP invest $1 billion in wetlands protection.
* [BP Managing Director Robert] Dudley said that he does not think BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward, who has faced heavy criticism, should resign.
* BP’s total financial cost of the response to the disaster now stands at $990 million, and is rising.
* BP shares plunged on Tuesday after the top kill strategy failed, and the company has now lost more than a third of its market value, or about 46 billion pounds ($67 billion), since the leak started six weeks ago.
From the New York Daily News:
Like his broken oil well, BP CEO Tony Hayward also has a tendency to spew.
“The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume.”
– on May 14 to The Guardian
“The environmental impact of this disaster is likely to be very, very modest.”
– on May 18 to Sky News
“I’m sure (nine hospitalized cleanup workers) were genuinely ill, but whether it was anything to do with dispersants and oil, whether it was food poisoning or some other reason … food poisoning is clearly a big issue when you’ve got a concentration of this number of people in temporary camps.”
– on May 30 to CNN
“The oil is on the surface. There aren’t any plumes.” (The truth: There are at least two massive underwater plumes, one 22 miles long and a thousand feet deep.)
– on May 30 to AP