Will BP Oil Spill Feed Go Dark Tomorrow During "Top Kill"?

In this Sunday, May 23, 2010 photo provided by Greenpeace, crews try to clean up oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill along the Mississippi Delta, just east of the mouth of the Mississippi River. (AP Photo/Greenpeace, Daniel Beltr?) NO SALES Daniel Beltr?

AP

Oil company BP may shut off the live feed to Congress and the Internet of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico tomorrow during its next attempt to seal the oil leak.

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), one of several legislators who forced BP to make the video feed public, said today that BP informed him the feed would be cut off when they try their "top kill" effort to stop the flow of oil. Markey called the move "outrageous."

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said later that after getting pressured by Congress to keep the feed running, BP is now still "considering" going dark. Nelson says he will continue to strongly pressure the company to keep the feed on, CBS News Capitol Hill Producer John Nolen reports.

"This BP blackout will obscure a vital moment in this disaster," Markey said in a statement. "After more than a month of spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP is essentially saying to the American people the solution will not be televised."

Five weeks after an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig caused the leak, BP is still trying to find a way to stop the millions of gallons of oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico. Tomorrow, the company hopes it can seal off the blown-out well with its "top kill" method -- which involves pumping heavy mud into the gushing well to stop the flow.

A technical video provided by BP shows that many of the preparations for the top kill attempt have already been completed, according to Markey's office. Hence, the congressman said, the company should be able to show the public the actual attempt to plug the well.

Special Section: Disaster in the Gulf
Washington Unplugged: White House Feeling the Heat

"No one wants to interfere with the operations during the top kill," Markey said. "With those preparations mostly done, now the world should see whether or not this strategy works, and we should see it in real time."

Hundreds of thousands of people visited the website for Markey's committee in the first 24 hours in which it was hosting the live feed of the spill, according to Markey's office. He is also asking BP to make available all 12 feeds of the accident site, since they provide different perspectives.

CBS News Radio Correspondent Bob Fuss contributed to this report.

Popular

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

Download