Three attempts to pump mud and 16 tries to stuff solid material into a breached Gulf of Mexico oil well failed to stop the flow, top BP executives said Saturday, and engineers and executives with the oil giant have decided to "move on to the next option."
That option: Place a custom-built cap to fit over the "lower marine riser package," BP chief operation officer Doug Suttles said. BP crews were already at work Saturday to ready the materials for that option, he said.
From here, BP is now admitting that it may not be until August until this leak is finally plugged.
A BP executive says a relief well is the "end point" of efforts to stop the Gulf oil spill — which suggests there's little chance of plugging the leak until the new well is completed in August.
With BP declaring failure in its latest attempt to plug the uncontrolled gusher feeding the worst oil spill in U.S. history, the company is turning to yet another mix of risky undersea robot maneuvers and longshot odds to keep crude from flowing into the Gulf.
Meanwhile, everyone watches helplessly as the oil reaches the shore slowly, more and more video of wildlife covered in oil come, and an environmental disaster begins. The one that looks most helpless is the President himself. It's unclear what if anything the president can do to make the situation better. What is clear is that in the campaign the president presented himself as herculean. Who can forget this piece of soaring rhetoric.
generations from now we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment” — when, among other wonders, “the rise of the oceans began to slow.”
Of course, it wasn't merely campaign rhetoric upon which Obama said that there was nothing the government couldn't do. The entire health care debate was predicated on the idea that health insurance companies were gouging us and the government was going to "hold them accountable".
The entire financial reform debate was predicated on the idea that the financial world was nothing more than the Wild Wild West and now there would be a new sheriff to reign them all in.
In Barack Obama's world, there is nothing that the government can solve. Nothing that is besides this sticky little oil leak. There we have a serious problem for this president. In the same vein, he also said that Cap and Trade would usher in a new day of energy independence. Again, there's nothing the government can't solve. Nothing that is but this sticky oil leak. The president sits back helpless. The oil leaks. It reaches closer to shore. The damage to the environment and to the economy is simply unimaginable and the president can't do a thing to stop it. If he's helpless here, how can he credibly claim to solve any problems?