**Update June 3, 2010: New computer generated current simulations show the oil is expected to reach the Atlantic coast line, perhaps as far as North Carolina before the current takes the oil into deeper waters. BP finally had success today cutting through the pipe at the blow-out well.
June 2, 2010As the crude crept within 7 miles of Pensacola Florida, the effort to contain the nation’s worst oil spill hit a snag Wednesday when a diamond-edged saw became stuck in a thick pipe on a blown-out well at the bottom of the Gulf. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist this afternoon took a boat tour of Pensacola Bay to get a first hand look at the local oil boom plan for protecting inland waters.
“I was briefed on Memorial Day about the oil being 80 miles offshore, and then today I hear it’s seven miles away from Pensacola,” Crist said, during the boat ride. “So, I just wanted to come out here today to see the booms that are in place to make sure we are doing all we can to protect the coastline.”
In a recent letter Florida Sen. Bill Nelson formally asked President Barack Obama Wednesday to consider “more fully involving the Department of Defense” to beef up the response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. While the Coast Guard, under the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Guard both are involved, it is my belief that the broader assets and command and control capability of the Department of Defense could better translate your directives into prompt, effective action,” Nelson wrote.
The Justice Department also has announced it started criminal and civil probes into the spill, although the department did not name specific targets for prosecution. With the news of a criminal and civil probe shares in BP slid 13 percent on Tuesday, its biggest single day drop in 18 years and closed down slightly on Wednesday. BP has lost $75 billion in market value since the spill started with an April 20 oil rig explosion and analysts expect damage claims to total billions more.
BP estimates that the disaster has so far cost the company approximately $990m in clean-up costs, but has refused to speculate on future expenses.