News / USA

Oil Spill Spreading; Cap Slowing Gusher

Kent Klein

A cap placed over a leaking oil well is believed to be slowing the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, even as the enormous spill continues to spread.  President Barack Obama says he will fight alongside Gulf communities until the crisis is over.

U.S. Coast Guard officials say the cap may be collecting between one-quarter and one-half of the leaking oil.

Retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who is leading the government's response, said Saturday the cap collected almost one million (954,000) liters of oil on Friday, its first full day of use.  The government estimates that that is about a half-percent to one percent of the total oil that has leaked in the six weeks since an oil rig exploded on April 20, killing eleven workers.

The spill, which resulted from the blast off the coast of the state of Louisiana, has extended hundreds of kilometers to the east, reaching the state of Florida.

ROV (remote operated vehicle) control room on board the Transocean Discoverer Enterprise, 02 Jun 2010
ROV (remote operated vehicle) control room on board the Transocean Discoverer Enterprise, 02 Jun 2010


Meanwhile, President Barack Obama says he will do what he can to help people recover after losing their livelihoods in the disaster. "It is brutally unfair.  It is wrong.  And what I told these men and women, and what I have said since the beginning of this disaster, is that I am going to stand with the people of the Gulf Coast until they are made whole," he said.

The president recorded his weekly address late Friday from a fishing bait shop in the coastal town of Grand Isle, Louisiana.  He met there with federal, state and local officials, and with people who are suffering because of the disaster. "Folks like Floyd Lasseigne, a fourth-generation oyster fisherman.  This is the time of year when he ordinarily earns a lot of his income.  But his oyster bed, along the north side of Grand Isle, has likely been destroyed by the spill," he said.

Mr. Obama made his third visit to the Gulf Coast, and his second in a week, as he faced a barrage of criticism for his handling of the crisis.

The president said the oil company BP, which is responsible for the spill, will pay "every single dime" owed to the people in the region.  And he said a massive effort is underway to fight the disaster. "I have authorized the deployment of 17,000 National Guard (state militia) troops to aid in the response.  More than 20,000 people are currently working around the clock to protect waters and coastlines.  We have convened hundreds of top scientists and engineers from around the world.  More than 1,900 vessels are in the Gulf, assisting in the cleanup," he said.

Mr. Obama said BP has made progress in containing the oil, but the leak will not stop until the company has finished drilling relief wells, which is expected in August.

The government has sent BP a $69 million bill for the first costs relating to the spill.

The president is scheduled to meet in the coming week with the families of the eleven workers who were killed when the oil rig exploded on April 20.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs