Hurricanes Could Interrupt Next Leak-Plugging Effort

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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

With the end of the vaunted "top kill" tactic, the wizards at BP commenced yesterday with their next strategy to stop the leak that has been spewing oil into the Gulf for 40 days now (and could continue to do so until August). Since this new strategy — capping it with a dome attached to a hose, which brings the oil up to awaiting ships — is the same as one that they already tried, unsuccessfully, you could be excused for a lack of optimism or confidence. But BP says they've worked out some of the kinks that doomed the dome the first time around, so we'll see.

One factor looming over the new effort is the official start of hurricane season today. Even if the dome works — and let's be honest, it probably won't — everyone would have to abandon the oil-funneling operations and the building of relief wells and head back to shore should a hurricane barrel through the area. “Safety first,” says Andrew Gowers, a BP spokesman, hilariously.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is trying to increase the visibility of its response effort under continuing criticism that, despite Obama touching the oil last week, it's still not doing enough. President Obama will deliver a statement in the Rose Garden after meeting with his oil-spill commission co-chairs; Coast Guard admiral Thad Allen will begin giving daily briefings; and Attorney General Eric Holder will visit with state attorneys general in Gulf states and U.S. attorneys today to discuss possible charges against BP or others related to the spill.

BP Tries Again to Divert Oil Leak With Dome [NYT]
SQUEEZING BP: Obama moves toward more visible dominance [Playbook/Politico]