New Orleans, La. – BP is calling the smaller dome a "top hat." It's 4-feet-by-five-feet and weighs a fraction of the first four-story unit now off to the side. BP executive Doug Suttles says the smaller unit should be easier to install a mile below the surface. He says it will be equipped to prevent the icy slush that lifted the giant dome off the ocean floor. He says BP will also try plugging the leak with debris - called a junk shot.
New Orleans, La. – Top-level executives from BP and Transocean of Houston, which operated the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded and sank in the Gulf, are scheduled to testify at two Senate committee hearings this week. They could be asked about reports that BP executives aboard the Deepwater Horizon were celebrating the company's safety record just as the April 20th explosion ripped the rig apart. BP executive Doug Suttles confirmed the celebration did take place.
New Orleans, La. – Sierra Club President Allison Chin says the organization sent out an online emergency call for volunteers, and 25,000 signed up. It's not clear yet what those volunteers will do - or can do - at the site of the spill. She says it's vital that volunteers at least keep the disaster in the forefront of national discussions.
"It will go on. It's got to go on. This is going to, unfortunately, impact communities for decades."
New Orleans, La. – Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry says operations are continuing with stringing booms around shoreline, setting off controlled burns of oil floating on the water and using boats to skim off the surface. BP engineers are concentrating efforts on trying again to get the dome over the oil leak. A combination of ice crystals and methane gas forming at the top forced crews to move it off to the side while officials look at other options.
New Orleans, La. – Crews lowered the 100-ton concrete and steel dome over the leak a mile underwater. But it's now off to the side on the seabed while engineers come up with some solution to the crystals forming in the cold water. BP executive Doug Suttles says the next few days are critical.
"The issue is how to keep them forming again. That's the big challenge."
New Orleans, La. – Crane operators lowering the 100-ton concrete and steel box over the leaking well pipes have to be precise, and it's never been done before. The container could cap the leak, or smash it wide open. So far, about 210,000 gallons of crude are pouring out every day. BP executive Doug Suttles says one option being reviewed calls for plugging the leak with rubber and other materials.
New Orleans, La. – Michael Brune didn't say a word in the roaring seaplane as it flew over fertile fishing grounds off Louisiana, where ribbons of rust-colored oil streamed past the Breton National Wildlife Refuge. Nor did he speak when the plane reached the Chandeleur barrier islands that locals call the Cajun Bahamas. But when the plane landed