"This is until the company finishes drilling a relief well later in the summer that is expected to stop the leak completely."-- Obama
To elaborate on the above with a bit more detail than in my previous response, the jury is not only out on whether or not the relief well will cap the eruption, it is scratching its head over whether or not the spewage will ever be contained and stopped. New reports have delayed the possibility for "success" from late summer to Christmas. Then there is hurricane season to get through. This year's natural Gulf coast assault is projected to be a particularly nasty one, and if a few category fours are in play, not only will relief operations be shelved, but hurricane winds could transport benzene particulates inland and northward many states. In addition, the ongoing video flow of the eruption shows microfractures adjacent to and removed from the gouged origin. The Oil Drum site has a detailed, technical analytic report from a geologist on the possibility that the outburst may never be capped. Furthermore, there are currectly thousands of other Gulf Coast deepwater wells with the same faulty blowout preventers (and other compromised safety components) ready to offer up their dark secrets. Obama suspended all other such drilling (within a week of Okaying it -- so much for foresight), but the problem then becomes one milder in exigent decisiveness, but greater in philosophical direction. I mentioned the Deep Jack deepwater hullabaloo some time ago, and how the "200 year boon" of the "find" in the Gulf was supposed to be a slam dunk. (The story disappeared like hydrogen gas from a leaky valve when the amount, technical plausibility, and pinpointed location of Jack were found to be more hope and hype than fact.) Deep Jack was 13 miles under water; this particular eruption happened at 1 mile. Technical proficiency -- what James Howard Kunstler calls "techno-triumphalism" -- is blindly lauded by most. BP fucked up largely because of economic shortcuts. But at 13 miles, all the safety precautions from a revamped and rewritten regulatory code (not possible anyway under the long-standing system of bought-out politicians) are puny (pardon the bad pun) when drilling is needed in uncharted waters.
"Needed" because, of course, if this disaster has shown us anything besides the greed of multinationals, it's that the low-hanging oil fruit has disappeared, and that next spring won't usher in more petro-apples. Likely, as drilling is suspended, a polluted BP (and other cos.) will rise, phoenix-like, from the bituminous coke and set sail for West Africa where money is not only King but Judge, and the U.S., already looking at the disappearance of 30% of their imported oil from a tanking Mexico-Cantarell, will be forced to rethink motoring-for-fun-and-convenience. The same energy binds apply to Canada, as well, of course. We're always smugly pissing on the wasteful States, but, per capita, Canada is slightly worse in oil usage. The U.S. has 5 % of the world's population and uses 25 % of the oil; Canada's numbers only look mild by total amount since at 1/2 of 1 % of the world's population, we use approximately 3 % of the world's fossil fuels. So, 6 times as much as the norm, rather than 5 times for the U.S.
I'd planned on commenting on the rest of Obama's oval office damage control say-nothingism in this post, but I've only repeated one sound-byte, and still have the rest to go through. More in a day or so.