Jane Lubchenco, the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), told reporters yesterday that funding cuts in recent years for instrumental ocean observation programs have left scientists trying to track the movement of spilled oil partly in the dark.
"If you happen to be wondering if it's any easier to get access to an oil-befouled public beach/wildlife refuge near Grand Isle, Louisiana, if you're teamed up with a fancypants PBS producer, I scouted out the answer today: No."
A computer simulation by the National Center for Atmospheric Research illustrates a scenario -- which some consider likely -- in which oil from the BP Gulf spill could spread as far north as Cape Hatteras by July.
"BP, already bedeviled by an out-of-control well spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, now finds itself with one more problem: Tony Hayward, its gaffe-prone chief executive."
"At virtually every turn lately, the White House cannot shake the appearance that it is hamstrung and a step behind. From a major crisis such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to smaller and seemingly avoidable controversies over internal Democratic Party politics, President Obama and his team are on the defensive."
"The Interior Department denied Thursday that it has extended a drilling freeze to shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico, contradicting an e-mail written earlier in the day by the Minerals Management Service's supervisor of field operations for the Gulf of Mexico."
"BP reported some oil was flowing up a pipe Friday from a cap it wrestled onto its broken Gulf of Mexico well but crude still spewed and it was unclear how much could be captured in the latest bid to tame the nation's worst oil spill."
"Facing multiple investigations, including one from the U.S. attorney general, companies involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill have secured legal teams with deep Department of Justice and White House ties."
BP's efforts to cut off the riser pipe and install a collection cap over its blown out deepwater oil well hit complications Wednesday -- a stuck saw. But the effort continues. Meanwhile, the area of coastline affected expanded beyond Louisiana to Alabama and Mississippi and soon possibly Florida.
Deepwater Horizon explosion survivors were detained at sea for 36 to 40 hours and prevented from talking to families or going home until they signed two statements, one that they'd not been injured and the other that they'd not witnessed the explosion.