Jun 16, 2010 11:46 AM by Melissa Canone
A summary of events on Wednesday, June 16, Day 57 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.
Fresh from admonishing BP before the world, President Barack
Obama now gets his moment with the oil company's leaders. Obama's
showdown at the White House on Wednesday with BP executives will be
his first direct encounter with them since one of their oil wells
blew out off the Louisiana coast nearly 60 days ago, killing 11
workers and releasing a so-far unstoppable geyser of oil. BP
Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg was invited and encouraged to bring
other officials. The top BP executives, including Tony Hayward,
were seen heading into the West Wing at mid-morning.
BP began burning oil siphoned from the ruptured well as part of
its plans to more than triple the amount of crude it can stop from
reaching the sea, the company said. BP PLC said oil and gas
siphoned from the well first reached a semi-submersible drilling
rig on the ocean surface around 1 a.m. Once that gas reaches the
rig, it will be mixed with compressed air, shot down a specialized
boom made by Schlumberger Ltd. and ignited at sea. It's the first
time this particular burner has been deployed in the Gulf of
The cost of an escrow fund for those hurt by the Gulf of Mexico
oil spill would be enormous. The White House insists is has the
legal authority to make it happen. Still, administration officials
also acknowledge a negotiation is at play here, and key issues
remain unsolved. Among them: Who will oversee the escrow fund, who
will make that decision, how large will the fund be and whether BP
will pay the salaries of oil workers idled by a six-month
moratorium on new deep-water oil drilling. BP declined to offer
details about what proposals it would bring to the meeting or any
reaction to Obama's biting words.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said BP will need certainty
about how much it will have to pay to meet "reasonable claims"
for damage caused by its leaking well after Obama vowed in a speech
from the White House on Tuesday night to make the company shoulder
the consequences. Cameron, interviewed in BBC radio, said that in
his weekend telephone conversation with Obama he had stressed the
need for clarity.
RESTORING THE COAST
After 50 years of watching wetlands created by the fertile
Mississippi River turn into open water, Louisiana residents finally
got what they'd long awaited: A U.S. president saying he'll fight
to save what little is left along their eroding coast. Though
details were vague, President Barack Obama's pledge to restore the
Gulf Coast's degraded coast line has multibillion-dollar
implications for the region's culture and economy and could
preserve wildlife endangered by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of
Mexico. In an Oval Office address Tuesday night, Obama said he was
committed to making sure southern Louisiana, which is hemorrhaging
a football field of marshland every 38 minutes, and other
coastlines are saved.