Oil has now been gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for 36 days. BP has taken full responsibility for plugging the leak and cleaning up the water and shores, but some are now saying that after a month of attempts, their time at bat is up, and the federal government should take over operations. According to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the government can federalize the spill and run the cleanup operation, billing BP for the total cost. However, this remedy is meant to be used as a last resort.
We talk with David Pettit from the Natural Resources Defense Council about the legal obligations of the federal government to take over this process. And David Biello from Scientific American helps us assess whether the federal government has the technology and expertise to more effectively cleanup the spill than a large oil company like BP.