BP Finally Releases Oil Spill Video

BP officials finally made an underwater video of its broken well gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, after being pressured to do so by media outlets and the White House, and then claiming they hadn’t received requests for the footage.

BP said the video was released only today because the it had not received a request for the video until Monday. In fact, ABC News and other news organizations made numerous requests over the past few weeks for the video. When ABC News reporters were allowed into the BP command center last week, the monitors showing the video had been turned off.

Also, while government agencies continue to examine what led to the oil rig explosion that killed 11 people, environmental legal experts are already predicting that there will be criminal charges ahead for at least one of the companies involved in the oil spill.

A House energy panel looking into what might have caused the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico found yesterday that a vital piece of equipment intended to prevent such disasters had significant problems.

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Wednesday outlined issues with the blowout preventer, a tool that BP claimed was ‘fail safe,’ that may have prevented it from engaging. The blowout preventer, reports the Washington Post, “Had a dead battery in its control pod, leaks in its hydraulic system, a “useless” test version of a key component and a cutting tool that wasn’t strong enough to shear through steel joints in the well pipe and stop the flow of oil.”

It was also revealed during the hearing that BP knew ‘hours’ ahead of the deadly explosion that there were problems with the oil well. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), said “The oil company told the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on oversight privately that the well failed a key pressure test just hours before it exploded on April 20,” reports CNN.

On stemming the flow of oil into the Gulf, BP reported that it could take through the summer to finish a ‘relief’ well being drilled to shut down the flow. It is estimated that if the leak doesn’t worsen, and the relief well is a success, approximately 20 million gallons of oil will have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico, “nearly double the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989.”

Legal experts are already saying that it’s likely that Federal investigators will file criminal charges related to the oil rig explosion.

(Source: RawStory.com and YouTube.com)

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