Pressure Grows for Gov't To Take Over From BP

Five thousand feet deep, oil still gushes nonstop in the Gulf of Mexico, no longer out of sight thanks to the live feed BP was forced to make public.

A lead congressman says patience has run out.

"The American people want this leak plugged now; they are outraged," said Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Edward Markey. "This is an all-hands-on-deck crisis, and we need to use every asset the U.S. has, including the Defense Department and all of its most sophisticated technology."

(Scroll down to watch the report CBS News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson filed from Washington)

Special Section: Disaster in the Gulf
Oil Spill: One Month Later

Markey and others are taking issue with the approach so far of leaving it up to BP, CBS News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports. BP has been - and continues to be - in charge of the response to the oil leak.

"They have the legal responsibility and the technical expertise to plug the hole," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.

Or do they? They haven't plugged it in 31 days. On Friday, the press corps hammered away.

"They're not getting the job done," CBS News Correspondent Chip Reid told Gibbs. "Does the government just stand there as a spectator and hope for the best?"

"Chip, Chip, there's nothing that would denote that the federal government has stood there and hoped for the best," Gibbs said.

Gibbs says the Obama administration has been aggressive, prodding BP and "asking" it for more data and information.

"Why don't you order them to do it rather than ask them to do that?" Reid asked.

"Because you can't do that from a private company," Gibbs said.

"You took over AIG," one reporter said.

"Well we -- the company is largely in receivership," Gibbs said.

On Friday, CBS News obtained more undersea video turned over 11 days after Congress found out about it and asked for it, including another clip showing an abortive attempt to cap the well on May 6 and more video apparently showing use of toxic chemical dispersants to break up the oil, a strategy that one scientist called unthinkable.

"It's a PR stunt to dissolve this oil with disbursements," Carl Sarfina, president of the Blue Ocean Institute, said while testifying at a government hearing Friday. "It's just to get it away from the cameras on the shoreline."

Late Friday, the White House reported President Obama will announce the establishment of a bipartisan national commission on the spill in his Saturday morning radio address. Two-term Florida governor and former Senator Bob Graham and former EPA administrator William K. Reilly will serve as co-chairs.

More Oil Spill Coverage

Gov. Pressed to Act Over BP
Public Beach in La. Closed as Oil Washes Up
Oily Mess along Gulf Coastline
Gulf Oil Spill Criminal and Civil Damages Could Exceed Exxon Valdez Spill
Scientists: Don't "Squander" Lesson of Oil Spill
Outrage Over Gulf Oil Spill Grows
Thick Oil Oozes Into Mouth of Mississippi
Live Video Shows Gushing Underwater Oil Leak


Watch CBS News Videos Online
  • Sharyl Attkisson On Twitter»

    Sharyl Attkisson is a CBS News investigative correspondent based in Washington.

Comments