The AP (8/2) reports, “The only thing keeping millions more gallons of oil out of the Gulf of Mexico right now is a rush job: an experimental cap that has held for more than two weeks but was never meant to be permanent. As soon as this week, crews will be pumping in some insurance.” Now “engineers are preparing to launch a so-called static kill as early as Monday evening, shoving mud and perhaps cement into the blown-out well to make it easier to plug the gusher up forever and end the Summer of the Spill.” While “the effort carries no certainty,” BP’s “engineers and petroleum experts say it’s the clearest path yet to choke the blown-out well and make it even easier for the crews drilling the relief well to ensure oil can never again erupt from the deep-sea well.”
The Washington Post (8/2, Achenbach) reports, “If all goes perfectly, the one-two mud punch will literally be overkill. The static kill will terminate Macondo, and the bottom kill will be more like a confirmation test, akin to poking the body to make sure it’s dead.” However, “optimism has been a dangerous attitude throughout the oil spill disaster, and the federal point man for the spill response, retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, has warned against complacency.”
Local officials urge BP not to dismantle clean-up operation yet. The Wall Street Journal (8/2, Gonzalez) reports that amid high expectation for BP’s “static kill” procedure, local officials are calling on the company not to remove its equipment or workforce from the area until the full extent of the spill’s damage can be fully assessed.
Congressional panel says too much dispersant used to break up spilled oil. The CBS Evening News (8/1, lead story, 2:40, Teague) reported in its lead story, “There are lingering questions about the safety of using so much chemical dispersant to break up the oil in the Gulf.” According to “a congressional subcommittee…documents show Coast Guard officials allowed BP to use much more dispersant that previously reported, despite an order by the EPA to use it rarely.” Rep. Edward Markey was shown saying, “There has been an unprecedented underwater scientific experiment going on for months, where toxic chemicals have been shot into toxic oil.” CBS continued, “BP officials say the company did cut back on dispersant used after the government order and has worked closely with federal agencies since.”