Many Gulf Coast residents don't believe it. Some accuse BP of making it up. And even those convinced that the oil leak has finally been stopped are tempered in their relief, aware that their environmental nightmare is far from over. "It's a beautiful thing that it's shut off," said trumpeter Shamarr Allen, standing on a New Orleans sidewalk. "But there's still a lot of years of cleaning. It's only the first step."
Reaction to the news that BP had cut off the flow from the blown well nearly 3 months after an oil-rig explosion was marked with deep distrust of the oil giant. Gulf Coast residents have suffered months of false starts and dashed hopes, failed "top kills." and abortive "junk shots," containment domes and "top hats." "It's a (expletive) lie," shouted an oil-stained oysterman at a marina in marshy Plaquemines Parish. "I don't believe they stopped that leak. BP's trying to make their self look good." (Read more Gulf Coast stories.)