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cleaning up

The End Is Nigh for the Oil Leak?

The top kill in action.

The "top kill" method of sealing the oil leak in the Gulf hasn't proved successful yet, but BP executives and other experts seem cautiously optimistic that it might actually work (!). Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry says she's "very encouraged by some aspects of this procedure," but she doesn't want to draw any conclusions yet. A professor of environmental science at LSU told the Today show that it looks like "the amount of oil coming out ... is significantly less," and BP COO Doug Suttles said that mud is now coming out of the well instead of oil, which is a good sign. Once the flow of oil is confirmed to have ceased, the hole will be injected with cement, and then, God willing, it'll all be over.

We could know as soon as this afternoon whether the "top kill" was successful, perhaps even around the same time that President Obama holds a press conference to announce tighter oversight regulations on offshore drilling, an expanded six-month moratorium on new deep-water drilling permits, and the halting of exploration in the Arctic. Then, under the interrogation of the press corps, he'll defend the government's role in this whole fiasco, which, fair or not, is being referred to as "Obama's Katrina."

Mud, not oil, appears to gush from Gulf well [MSNBC]
BP in wait-and-see mode with 'top kill' procedure [CNN]
UPDATED: Obama to take press questions on BP [Playbook/Politico]

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Photo: via MSNBC