Summary of the Federal Government’s Role in BP’s Effort to Stop the BP Oil Leak

Nobody in this government will be satisfied until BP stops the leak, the oil is cleaned up and the affected people along the Gulf are fully compensated.

BP, as a responsible party, is charged with capping their leaking oil well and paying for the response and recovery. After Exxon Valdez, and through the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, no longer can a company cause a disaster like this and then expect the taxpayers to clean up their mess.

However, the USG, as led by the Department of Homeland Security with Admiral Thad Allen serving as the National Incident Commander, is overseeing these actions.

In addition, the Federal On Scene Coordinator Rear Admiral Mary Landry coordinates the response on the front line, oversees BP’s efforts, and directs additional actions where necessary.

Since the Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20th, the United States government has taken and will continue to take an all hands on deck posture to ensure we are doing everything we can to help BP stop this leak.

With the source being 5,000 feet under the ocean’s surface, this has been extremely difficult and the oil companies are the only ones who have the equipment for this.

Government scientists and engineers are currently working with BP to use the best, most advanced technology that exists to try to stop the flow of oil as quickly as possible.

The Department of Energy has engaged some of the world’s top scientific and engineering minds from Sandia, Los Alamos and Livermore Labs—to lend their expertise. These government scientists are reviewing every plan on the table, validating those that are moving forward and providing additional expertise and input on new tactics.

Heidi Avery is White House Deputy Homeland Security Advisor

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