Give BP a Final Chance, Then Obama Must Step In

President not only has authority, he's obligated
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2010 1:58 PM CDT
The tail end of the Mississippi Delta (top right) showing the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico on May 5, 2010.   (AP Photo/NASA - Soichi Noguchi)
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(Newser) – In the month-plus since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, BP has downplayed the amount of oil gushing into the Gulf, withheld information, and repeatedly failed to plug the well. The oil giant has one last shot with its "top kill," blogs Andrew Revkin for the New York Times, and then President Obama "not only has the authority, but the obligation—however politically risky that might be" to step in if it fails again.

"Obama must step forward far more forcefully and publicly engage an oil-well SWAT team drawing on the country’s leading lights in hydraulics, deep-ocean engineering and geology, from the Pentagon outward," Revkin says. "There’s no doubt," he concludes. "The responsibility to run the effort to stanch the oil flow lies with the White House. It was pretty clear on May 14 and is clearer now: Move over, BP."

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