University of South Florida researchers have discovered that oil from BP's 205-million gallon spill is spreading along the floor of the gulf. They say the dispersant BP used broke it up into tiny droplets and it sank to the ocean floor and now it's threatening critical marine animals that are the building blocks of the ocean's food chain. Larry McKinney, head of Texas A&M's Harte research institute for Gulf of Mexico studies, spoke with CNN's American Morning Tuesday.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/05/acosta.la.skeptics.cnn.art.jpg caption="CNN's Jim Acosta speaks with Craig Taffaro, president of St. Bernard Parish."]
(CNN) – BP is preparing today for the final step in the "static kill." After 108 days, the oil giant's blown-out well could soon be shut for good.
The government is giving BP the green light to cement over the well after the heavy drilling mud they pumped in Tuesday forced the oil back into the earth. The government is also telling BP to move forward with the relief wells they're drilling. That process should be complete within the next two weeks.
Despite the positive news, administration officials insist they're not standing down, telling CNN they're just beginning phase one of their long-term restoration plan.
For parish presidents along the Gulf Coast, it's becoming a question of who to trust – the government officials who say the oil is vanishing out in the Gulf, or the people in their own communities who say the oil is still coming ashore. Our Jim Acosta reports on their skepticism. Watch
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/04/acosta.static.kill.cnn.art.jpg caption="CNN's Jim Acosta reports from the Deepwater Horizon site in the Gulf of Mexico."]
(CNN) – It could be the beginning of the end of the 107 day long nightmare for people living and working along the Gulf Coast. BP announced overnight that the static kill operation to seal the leaking oil well for good is working.
According to the New York Times, the government is set to announce that three quarters of the oil from the BP spill has already either evaporated, dispersed, been captured or otherwise eliminated. And the rest is so diluted that it doesn't pose much of a risk.
The Coast Guard took our Jim Acosta out for a bird's eye view of the Deepwater Horizon site just as the static kill was getting under way. There, he met up with the crew of the aptly-named Coast Guard cutter, Decisive. As the crew told him, they can feel that this operation has reached a decisive phase. Watch
A congressional committee released a stunning report on the use of chemical dispersant in the Gulf, reporting the coast guard approved 74 exemptions allowing BP to use the chemicals during a seven week span. This was after the EPA said the chemicals had to be used sparingly. BP admits pouring 1.8 million gallons of dispersant into the ocean, a number that's being disputed by Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts. He spoke to CNN's Kiran Chetry Monday.
Scientists agree it could take years to gauge the impact crude and dispersant on the Gulf. BP's chief operating officer, Doug Suttles spent some time on the water this weekend. CNN"s Jim Acosta reports what he had to say on the state of the Gulf.
So where's all the spilled oil? The coast guard insists it can't find much more to clean up on the surface of the gulf. Their crews keep conducting flyovers and the pilots keep coming back with the same story, there's little crude to be found. Can millions of gallons of oil really be all gone? Some of the locals say they know where the crude is and they'd be happy to point the coast guard in the right direction. CNN's Jim Acosta reports.