According to BP, it is now siphoning off as many as 5,000 barrels of oil a day from the leaking pipe on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. That’s great news, since the company has been telling us that the leak itself was putting out 5,000 barrels a day. Problem solved, right BP?
The company has now been forced to acknowledge that outside scientists were right, that the leak is dumping a lot more than 5,000 barrels a day into the Gulf. How much more? The company won’t say, but thanks to pressure by Congress and the administration, you can see for yourself. The company has agreed to post a live video feed from the site, which can be seen here. It isnt’ pretty. (The site can be a little balky, probably because of heavy traffic.)
Meanwhile, fresh from arguing that the Civil Rights Act was an unconstitutional imposition on business, Rand Paul is now chastising President Obama for being too hard on BP. From the AP:
“What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of, ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP,’” Paul said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “I think that sounds really unAmerican in his criticism of business.”
Other Republicans have criticized the administration’s handling of the oil spill, but few have been so vocal in defending BP, the company responsible for the deep well and offshore rig that exploded last month, killing 11 workers.
… Paul, a libertarian and tea party favorite, said he had heard nothing from BP indicating it wouldn’t pay for the spill that threatens devastating environmental damage along the Gulf of Mexico coast.
“And I think it’s part of this sort of blame-game society in the sense that it’s always got to be somebody’s fault instead of the fact that maybe sometimes accidents happen,” Paul said.
On Sunday, BP officials are scheduled to take their next shot at shutting down the leak. They hope to suffocate it with heavy mud, followed by a permanent seal of cement, a process known as a “top kill.” I’ve looked around, and I can’t find anybody willing to take an educated guess on their odds of success. But it’s pretty clear that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and other officials are growing increasingly anxious about the oil now starting to come ashore.
The map below, from NOAA, demonstrates why. It shows the predicted spread of the spill through Sunday.
Again, it’s not pretty.