Bill Nelson is now running on his website a live feed of the BP oil gusher on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. You can clearly see that there’s a much greater volume of oil coming out of that gusher than what BP has claimed, and that the pipe siphoning off oil, which BP claims is up to 3,000 barrels a day, is basically capturing a tiny fraction of the total. In fact, BP is finally admitting as much:
BP conceded Thursday that more oil than it estimated is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico as heavy crude washed into Louisiana’s wetlands for the first time, feeding worries and uncertainty about the massive monthlong spill.
Mark Proegler, a spokesman for oil giant BP PLC, said a mile-long tube inserted into a leaking pipe over the weekend is capturing 210,000 gallons a day — the total amount the company and the Coast Guard have estimated is gushing into the sea — but some is still escaping. He would not say how much.
Nelson and Barbara Boxer gave stemwinder speeches on this on the Senate floor just now, suggesting that the Justice Department look into the shifting stories from BP and their lies to the public on the extent of the disaster.
Meanwhile, the EPA warned BP that they have 24 hours to lower the toxicity in the hundreds of thousands of gallons of dispersants they are dumping into the Gulf to break down the oil:
The Environmental Protection Agency informed BP officials late Wednesday that the company has 24 hours to choose a less-toxic form of chemical dispersants to break up its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to government sources familiar with the decision, and must apply the new form of dispersants within 72 hours of submitting the list of alternatives.
The move is significant, because it suggests federal officials are now concerned that the unprecedented use of chemical dispersants could pose a significant threat to the Gulf of Mexico’s marine life. BP has been using two forms of dispersants, Corexit 9500A and Corexit 9527A, and so far has applied 600,000 gallons on the surface and 55,000 underwater.
“Dispersants have never been used in this volume before,” said an administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the decision hasn’t been formally announced. “This is a large amount of dispersants being used, larger amounts than have ever been used, on a pipe that continues to leak oil and that BP is still trying to cap.”
The country ought to be in full-on crisis mode right now. The urgency of this situation demands it.