Following confirmation that an oil sheen in the Gulf of Mexico has origins from BP's blown-out Macondo well, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) today called for a full undersea survey of the Macondo site carried live on the internet so independent scientists can examine the activities as they happen.
"One can only hope that the nightmare well has not come back to haunt the people of the Gulf. The federal government should order BP to immediately deploy undersea rovers to examine the well site, the wreckage of the sunken rig, the drill pipe, and the surrounding area," said Rep. Markey, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, who was the leading investigative force into the BP disaster in 2010. "BP must also bring back the Spillcam, so the world can see in real time what is going on at the bottom of the Gulf. There is no room for error, and no room for obfuscation, when it comes to this matter."
During the BP oil spill, Rep. Markey successfully called for the release of a live internet feed of the undersea rovers. Spillcam, which was first hosted on Rep. Markey's committee website, and footage released by BP at his request, aided scientists in determining the size and rate of the spill.
The return of Macondo oil also raises the issue of BP's outstanding fines and damage assessments from the 2010 spill. Additional oil and residual effects continuing from the spill years later should be considered in the final judgment, including provisions for additional fines and damages if recurring seeps and leaks are determined to be possible.
"BP must do everything in its power to ensure this well does not rupture or leak, and they should be held responsible if it does. BP still has billions to pay to the people of the Gulf and the U.S. government, but the Gulf region also deserves the peace of mind that this well is dead once and for all," said Rep. Markey.