(CNN) – BP's top official, who had previously said the environmental impact on the Gulf of Mexico would be modest, upgraded his assessment Friday to an "environmental catastrophe" during an interview with American Morning's John Roberts.
Also Friday, engineers in the Gulf tried the "junk shot" method in an attempt to stop a massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, BP's chief executive Tony Hayward said.
The procedure involved shooting debris such as shredded rubber tires, golf balls and similar objects into the blowout preventer in an attempt to clog it and stop the leak. The goal of the junk shot is to force-feed the preventer, the device that failed when the disaster unfolded, until it becomes so plugged that the oil stops flowing or slows to a relative trickle.
The company plans to resume its "top kill" method, pumping heavy mud into the leak, later Friday, he said.
President Obama is scheduled to visit Louisiana on Friday for the second time since an oil rig explosion sent a historic amount of oil gushing into the Gulf. Read more
Palm Beach, Florida (CNN) - For years, Army veteran Roy Foster's motto has been "No man left behind." This month, he's broadened it to include women.
In November, Foster was recognized at "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute" as a Top 10 CNN Hero of 2009 for his efforts to help male veterans struggling with homelessness and addiction. His nonprofit, Faith*Hope*Love*Charity, has provided food, housing, counseling, employment and medical services to more than 1,100 veterans.
"I was somewhat overwhelmed at the tribute. To be a part of something that you love doing - to be honored in doing it was, you know, strange," recalled Foster, 54. "But then to be showcased internationally was tremendous. And it's still reaping benefits today."
Among those benefits is Foster's recent opening of the First Stop Resource Center and Housing Program in Palm Beach, Florida. The center and program widen the scope of support services his organization has been offering through its original Stand Down House. They also bring Foster's long-held dream to fruition. Read more
(CNN) – Volunteers and environmental experts are working around-the-clock to protect as much of the wildlife as they can across the Gulf Coast region. So, just how many animals have already died in the 39 days since the spill started? Our Rob Marciano tried to find out, but with BP calling the shots, it's a question even the feds are having trouble answering.
(CNN) – Officials in Louisiana are doing what they can, as fast as they can, to stop the oil from spreading into more of the state's critical wetlands. Our Kiran Chetry took a helicopter tour of some of the hardest hit areas with Gov. Bobby Jindal. He told her that right now he's not interested in whose fault the spill is, he just wants to stop the gushing oil before things get a lot worse.
By Bob Ruff and Carol Costello, CNN
(CNN) – Disaster doesn't begin to describe what is happening now in the Gulf of Mexico. Despite BP's efforts to "fix what's wrong," in many people's minds it remains "a villain."
So does the oil industry as a whole. No one knows that more than J. Bennett Johnston, a former senator from Louisiana turned oil lobbyist for Steptoe & Johnson.
For 24 years, Johnston served in the Senate and much of that time sat as the chairman and ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. When it comes to the power to make and break oil and natural gas policy making, it doesn't get much bigger than that.
Now that he's lobbying for an industry reeling from a the largest oil spill in American history, our Carol Costello asked Johnston, only partially tongue-in-cheek, if he now has the toughest job in the United States right now.
Editor's Note: Welcome to American Morning's LIVE Blog where you can discuss the "most news in the morning" with us each week day. Join the live chat during the show by adding your comments below. It's your chance to share your thoughts on the day's headlines. You have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules: 1) Keep it brief 2) No writing in ALL CAPS 3) Use your real name (first name only is fine) 4) No links 5) Watch your language (that includes $#&*).
Obama to visit Gulf, vows action on oil spill
(CNN) – President Obama is scheduled to visit Louisiana on Friday for the second time since an oil rig explosion sent a historic amount of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.
Obama's visit comes as his administration has been criticized for its response to the massive underwater gusher that is now estimated to be twice the size of the Exxon Valdez disaster.
"I take responsibility. It is my job to make sure that everything is done to shut this down," Obama said Thursday at a White House news conference. "That doesn't mean it's going to be easy. That doesn't mean it's going to happen right away or the way I'd like it to happen. That doesn't mean we aren't going to make mistakes."
The president even said his 11-year-old daughter, Malia, weighed in on the issue on Thursday.
"You know, when I woke up this morning and I'm shaving, and Malia knocks on my bathroom door and she peeks in her head and she says, 'Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?'" he said. Read more
Sound off: We want to hear from you this morning. Add your comments to the LIVE Blog below and we'll read some of them on the show.