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Admiral Mullen: Oil Industry Better Equipped to Counter Spill

The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff says the oil industry is better-equipped than the U.S. military to deal with the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a televised interview on ABC's Good Morning America Monday, Admiral Mike Mullen responded to suggestions that the military should take the lead in the oil spill containment and clean-up.

Mullen said military officials have looked at the equipment the military has available, but that the best technology exists in the oil industry.

The spill, which began in late April after an oil rig exploded and sank off the coast of the southern state of Louisiana, is the worst in American history. The U.S. government estimates between 70 million and 150 million liters of oil have already been leaked into the Gulf waters.

The oil poses a major threat to coastal fishing and tourism industries. Grand Isle Beach, just off the coast of Louisiana, reopened for Memorial Day weekend, but swimming and fishing are not allowed.

Meanwhile, energy company BP says it is taking steps to implement a new plan to contain the oil from the leak rather than stop it.

BP Managing Director Bob Dudley said the plan will involve unmanned robots sawing through the leaking pipe, before it is capped with a device built to capture oil gushing from a well. He said Sunday it could take up to a week to launch the new procedure and offered no guarantees the plan will succeed.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.