Will BP's Latest Plan Make Oil Spill Worse?

It's another long-shot effort to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

BP's new plan is to cut off the broken, leaking, riser pipe, put a cap over it, and use a new pipe to siphon oil to containment ships on the surface, reports CBS News correspondent Don Teague.

"That program will take through the end of the week to have that cap in place and operating. The uncertainty is about what percentage of the oil can we capture," said BP CEO Tony Hayward.

Special Section: Disaster in the Gulf

Even if it works, it won't stop all the oil. And in the short term, the government says cutting away the kinked pipe will allow 20 percent more oil to gush into the Gulf.

Everything BP has tried so far to stop its gushing well has failed. The last attempt, choking it with heavy mud, was finally abandoned over the weekend.

In Washington, there is growing anger, and accusations that BP knowingly understated how much oil has leaked to limit its liability.

"This shows that they knew the first week the spill was 10,000 to 14,000 barrels per day," said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass.

In hard hit Louisiana, public patience has run out, from New Orleans, to the oil stained coastline. The holiday weekend in Grand Isle was an economic bust.

Closed beaches and fishing areas are keeping tourists away. Workers in temporary camps are moving in, here to clean up oil that washed ashore last week.

"You can look down and you'll see tiny tar balls. Actually, there's come right here," said Lt. Cmdr. Dan Somma with the Coast Guard. "That's all crude oil."

This water filled barrier called Tiger Dam is the last defense against oil coming ashore here in Grand Isle. The National Guard is deploying more than 7 miles of this here, along the beaches.

If it works, the barrier will keep any new oil confined to the shoreline. That would be a small victory, but here, any victory is a welcome one.

More on the Disaster in the Gulf:
Oil Spill Deals Gulf Coast a Summer of Misery

After "Top Kill" Fails, BP Readies Plan B
Photos: Threat to Gulf Wildlife
Top Kill Failure Pressures Washington
Is BP "Lying," Asks Dem, or Just "Incompetent"?
BP vs. Gov't Blame Game Heats Up

  • Don Teague

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