Top U.S. Officials Visit BP Houston Office

The U.S. Secretaries of the Interior and Energy were in Houston visiting BP's local offices. The officials say all parties are doing what they can to solve the problem in the Gulf. Bill Stamps reports.
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ROBERT, La. — Oil and gas stream from the riser of the Deepwater Horizon well May 11, 2010. This video is from the larger of two existing leaks on the riser. This leak is located approximately 460 feet from the top of the blowout preventer and rests on the sea floor at a depth of about 5,000 feet.
As oil continues to gush from an underground well in the Gulf of Mexico, British Petroleum continues to work around the clock trying to find a way to stop it. But the company is getting lots of help.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu says some of the brightest minds in the world are coming together to work on a solution. Chu himself once won a Nobel Prize for Science.

"I've asked, actually just yesterday, several people to fly in from all parts of the country. These are people who came highly recommended in all quarters as people who are extraordinarily intelligent, can think out of the box and hopefully can add to potential solutions to the problem and not only solutions but plan A B C D and F."

Chu says the extra help doesn't mean he feels BP is incapable of solving the problem itself.

"If you consider any other tragedies that's happened before Apollo 13, things like that, what you do is you bring in the best minds possible. That's not to say that one doesn't think BP (can't handle it alone), but if there's any possibility you can add 5 percent-2 percent value — you do this."


Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says ultimately BP will be held responsible for what has happened. He says that's the reason he's traveled to their Houston office three times now. But for now, he's focusing on capping the oil leak and he feels that will happen soon.

"We are confident and resolute that we will solve this problem. And we are confident and resolute that we will continue to push BP as a responsible party here to make sure that at the end of the day this problem is effectively dealt with."

top hatAs for the new smaller containment box they tried to lower on top of the well, Salazar says we should know soon if it's going to work.

"Tomorrow, Thursday, we'll know how the new efforts on the what they call the 'top hat' or the smaller dome will in fact work, and they have an alternative on that as well that they are going to try and implement, so I would expect Thursday or Friday, we'll know whether or not that containment effort will in fact work."

It is estimated two hundred thousand gallons or more of oil is pouring into the Gulf each day.