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“Plug the damn hole”: mounting frustration over BP, government’s inability to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil spill

The BP oil disaster is still not under control
The BP oil disaster is still not under control
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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As BP gets ready for the latest attempt to, in the words of a frustrated President Obama, “plug the damn hole,” more details are emerging about the seemingly impossible mission to stem the gushing oil from the Deepwater Horizon well and the litany of mistakes and lapses in oversight that led up to this environmental disaster. The “top kill” strategy that BP was planning to employ, which would pump heavy drilling mud into the damaged well, was supposed to get underway today but instead will be delayed until at least tomorrow. President Obama has sent a panel of problem solving experts to come up with new solutions to a vexing problem, but so far no one seems to have the answer for stopping the spewing oil well. Meanwhile political fallout from the Gulf oil spill is everywhere, as Republicans direct criticism at the Obama Administration’s handling of the disaster and Democrats redirect blame back toward Republicans for years of loose regulations of the offshore oil industry. Can anyone stop the bleeding?


Karen Tumulty, national political reporter for the Washington Post