Thursday, May 13, 2010
BP and Transocean continue talks on Capitol Hill, Posted: May 13, 2010 4:40 AM EDT
WASHINGTON (ABC)-- A new containment device could be in place and ready to go Thursday night, to capture and siphon off that spewing oil in the Gulf of Mexico. It's not even capped yet, and the energy policy fallout from the leak extends from coast to coast. Thursday a half dozen West Coast Senate Democrats will propose legislation to permanently prohibit offshore drilling on the outer continental shelf of California, Oregon, and Washington State.
BP has reluctantly released video footage, at the request of the White House and Congress, showing the spill as it's happening. The geyser is a mix of black oil and lighter natural gas spewing from the ocean floor, a mile below the surface.
This device, a five story-high blowout preventer, is supposed to cut off the oil in an accident. Congressional investigators now say BP's internal documents show it was broken.
Representative Henry Waxman, a Democrat from California says, "That the device had a leak in a crucial hydraulic system and a defectively configured ram."
BP and the manufacturer, Transocean, who made the device, are blaming each other.Transocean CEO and President Steven Newman says, "The ineffectiveness of the B-O-P to control the flow is not the root cause of the event."
BP is scrambling to stop the leak. Their latest plan: the Top Hat. It was lowered to the ocean floor, designed to capture the escaping oil and siphon it to a ship on the surface.
Chairman and BP America President Lamar McKay says, "We're doing everything we can."As the hearing went on, more wildlife and tarballs washed on shore, possible victims of the spill. Congress is already considering tighter restrictions on the oil industry.
Senator Waxman says, "Our national energy policy is broken."
BP says it will pay any legitimate claim of damages for the spill, despite a federal cap of $75 million. Still, the White House has asked lawmakers to raise that limit.
Online Reporter: Jill Courtney