Actor Kevin Costner takes his oil cleanup idea to Capitol Hill

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Kevin Costner speaks during a hearing on 'Harnessing Small Business Innovation: Navigating the Evalaution Process for Gulf Coast Oil Cleanup Proposals' in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship at Senate Dirksen Building on June 17, 2010 in Washington, DC.

Kevin Costner’s oil spill cleanup machine might get a bigger role in the Gulf of Mexico. A local member of Congress is trying to make that happen.

You’ve probably heard about Kevin Costner’s oil cleanup machine. The Oscar-winning film director and actor invested millions in technology to separate oil from seawater. BP is testing 32 of the machines on the spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a Capitol Hill appearance, Costner complained to a Senate committee about how difficult it is for a small business to cut through red tape so it can help out with the Gulf spill cleanup.

Democratic Congresswoman Grace Napolitano of Norwalk has stepped in. She says she spotted Costner in a House office cafeteria and stopped by to chat. She describes his invention as a “gizmo” machine that is skimming very, very successfully.

"I have a great interest in that," she says. "So we’re trying to connect him with the interior’s person, direct person who can begin to look at this."

Costner commented on his Washington experience, saying “this is a meeting town. Man, this is a meeting town.”

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