Actor Kevin Costner testified before a congressional panel Wednesday pitching a multi-million dollar response plan he wants the federal government to adopt for massive oil spills in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in Gulf of Mexico.(Scroll down to watch a clip of Costner's testimony)Special Section: Disaster in the Gulf
Costner's plan would create a fleet of about 200 specialized ships that would be deployed to a spill within hours to collect oil rather than recruit the thousands of multipurpose boats as BP did for the Gulf spill.
"Our choices are clear," Costner told members of a House committee Wednesday. "We can choose to enlist a fleet of 6,000 vessels that are hampered by their lack of training and preparedness or we can create a dedicated fleet of 190 state-of-the-art vessels."
The $895 million plan would be run through a company Costner created, Blue Planet Solutions, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported
. Blue Planet would implement the plan with equipment developed by Costner's firm Ocean Therapy Solutions, the newspaper reported.
For its cleanup effort, BP ordered 32 centrifuge devices made by Ocean Therapy Solutions. Costner had invested about $24 million in the project. The company says the largest of the devices can process about 210,000 gallons a day, separating gunk from water.
Deployed on barges, the centrifuges are intended to help skimmers work more efficiently by letting them unload the oil and water mix and cleaning it at sea instead of returning to port each time the tank is full.
Costner told The Times-Picayune his plan includes collapsible boats that could be driven to beaches near a spill and deployed to extract oil as it reaches the water's surface. Large barges with the capacity to store thousands of barrels of oil would then follow the boats.
The actor said his plan would cut the use of dispersant chemicals, absorbent materials and burning oil on the water to prevent it from washing ashore.
"America deserves a no-nonsense approach to spills that are certain to happen now and into the future," Costner said on Capitol Hill.
Costner told the Times-Picayune that 48 vessels could be ready by next January with the rest of the preparation completed by the beginning of 2012.