Experts Answer Your Questions About Oil Spill

Friday, May 28, 2010

A BP cleanup crew shovels oil from a beach on May 24, 2010 at Port Fourchon, Louisiana. BP CEO Tony Hayward, who visited the beach, said that BP is doing everything possible to clean up the spill. (John Moore/Getty)

As we learn more about the BP oil leak, there's more that doesn't make sense. It's been almost six weeks since the explosion, which caused the disastrous gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, and many of the public's questions are still unanswered.

We asked listeners to submit their questions about the oil leak and two experts help us answer many of them. Lisa Margonelli is the director of the New America Foundation’s Energy Policy Initiative and David Biello is the Associate Editor of Environment and Energy for Scientific American Magazine.


David Biello and Lisa Margonelli

Produced by:

Amanda Moore

Comments [9]

William from New Jersey

Why are there not hundreds of skimmer boats being used? I hear that some are on the way, but why were they not deployed much earlier in large numbers when it was clear that stopping the oil flow was going to take a long time? We have a Coast Guard, a Navy, and a number of oil companies that could help with the clean-up. We ought to be using all of these.

Jun. 07 2010 07:57 PM

Why didn't the just blow it up,and let it collapse on itself?

Jun. 06 2010 10:36 AM
mike Homan from Dayton Ohio

Can a "sock be slipped over or attached to the broken pipe on one end and then attached to a tanker rig on the other to contain some of the spilling crude?

Something similar to a plactic or rubber sock used in construction industry to move or place concrete into place.

Seems like the dumdest questions solve some of the biggest problems.

Thinkl outside of the BOX

After all there is piping already down there from the first attempt with the Concrete box!

Use the piping along with a external tube to capture the crude.

May. 30 2010 11:44 PM
paulb from Brooklyn

I'd like to know how many Americans who are wondering when this spill will be controlled are also resolving, "I'm going to drive 10% less miles this year, whatever it takes."

May. 28 2010 09:54 AM
Kevin from Fall River, MA

Rule #1 of offshore firefighting...don't sink the vessel. So, why did BP keep adding water on the Deepwater Horizon fire when the rig was faltering and would obviously sink, making a surface pipe leak a much bigger disaster?


May. 28 2010 09:40 AM
Karl from Denver

I don't think anyone familiar with the safety records of the major oil companies on-shore is surprised that it is precisely BP that has had this accident. Among the majors, BP is in a class by itself regarding on-shore accidents, explosions, and fatalities. US safety agencies responsible for investigating causes of explosions at BP's Texas City refinery, for instance have characterized BP's safety culture as broken. And BP had agreed. Why is a company with a broken safety culture allowed to operate in deep water? Why does such a company continue to enjoy the esteem of the public? And why doesn't the press highlight these shortcomings of BP in connection with the current disaster?

May. 28 2010 09:37 AM

BP is drilling "relief wells" now, but countries like Canada require these relief wells to be in place from the outset. How likely is it that our regulations will meaningfully catch up to these higher standards?

May. 28 2010 09:22 AM
Lauren Prior from boston ma

I think that John's initial question to the expert following the listener's query about raising the gas tax was misleading. You asked whether the increased tax will pay for the cleanup on this spill. I may be wrong, but it is my understanding that the administration is proposing this to be prepared for future disaster clean up, not this one where obviously BP must pay and has said it will pay. (An additional benefit of the increased cost of oil would be to reduce demand and our dependency.) Your question was not objective, but seems to pander to the "government is to big/no new taxes" contingent. They don't want to pay taxes, but then expect the government to have the resources to solve these crises.

May. 28 2010 09:21 AM
JB Tarrytown from Tarrytown

Originally I heard there was actually a lesser secondary leak? Whatever happened to the secondary lesser leak? No talks about it anymore?

May. 28 2010 09:15 AM

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