Jun 8, 2010 11:03 AM by Melissa Canone
A summary of events on Tuesday, June 8, Day 49 of the Gulf of
Mexico oil spill that began with the April 20 explosion and fire on
the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, owned by Transocean Ltd. and
leased by BP PLC, which is in charge of cleanup and containment.
The blast killed 11 workers. Since then, oil has been pouring into
the Gulf from a blown-out undersea well.
Officials reported that a containment cap over the BP gusher at
the bottom of the Gulf was sucking up one-third to three-quarters
of the oil - but also noted that its effects could linger for
years. And as the oil patches flirt with the coastline, slathering
some spots and leaving others alone, residents who depend on
tourism and fishing are wondering how to head off the damage or
salvage a season that's nearing its peak.
President Barack Obama says his talks with Gulf fishermen and
oil spill experts are not an academic exercise. They're "so I know
whose ass to kick." One target: Tony Hayward, the embattled chief
executive of BP. Obama was asked by Matt Lauer of NBC's "Today"
about Hayward's comments including "I want my life back," and
that "the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to be
very, very modest." "He wouldn't be working for me after any of
those statements," Obama said. The interview, aired Tuesday, was
part of a stepped-up White House effort to show Obama is actively
engaged in dealing with the spill. Polls have shown a majority of
Americans believe Obama has handled the crisis poorly.
British officials said Tuesday they would double the number of
inspections carried out at oil rigs in the North Sea following the
Gulf of Mexico spill. Britain's Department of Energy said the
average number of annual environmental checks aboard the country's
24-odd drilling rigs would rise from eight to 16, and said it was
hiring three extra inspectors to help pursue the more aggressive
program. The department did not provide details of the inspections,
but said they involved visits to each rig.
For some who are planning vacations in the region but live
elsewhere, the spill's fickle nature is causing confusion. Adam
Warriner, a customer service agent with California-based CSA Travel
protection, said the company is getting a lot of calls from
vacationers worried the oil will disrupt their trips - even if
they're headed to South Carolina, nowhere near the spill area. That
kind of misperception worries residents and officials in areas that
aren't being hit hard by the oil - and even those in some that are.
It's hard to imagine a spot with more to lose from the Gulf oil
spill than the Magnolia River. Gnarly trees shroud its slow-moving
waters, rich with crabs and mullet. Docks have mailboxes; letters
are delivered by boat. Seafood boils with friends are a weekend
staple. Jamie Hinton, chief of the Magnolia Springs Volunteer Fire
Department, said Monday he spent three weeks tangled in red tape
before finally getting approval to do something that's never before
been needed, much less tried: using a combination of barges and
oil-blocking booms to keep crude out of the Magnolia River.