Following a demand from Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) for a live feed of the BP oil spill to be made publicly available on the web, BP said they would release the feed. It is now shown on the website of Markey’s Select Committee on Energy Independent and Global Warming.
“This may be BP’s footage, but it’s America’s ocean. Now anyone will be able to see the real-time effects the BP spill is having on our ocean,” said Rep. Markey, who conducted a briefing today with independent scientists where he reiterated the call for a video feed. “This footage will aid analysis by independent scientists blocked by BP from coming to see the spill.”
Markey sent letters earlier today to BP America’s CEO Lamar McKay asking for the footage to be made public on BP’s website. If BP could not host the footage, Rep. Markey offered to host it on his website free of charge.
“BP is going to have to pay for the cleanup of this spill and the long-term damage. Hosting this video on our website is the only freebie they’re going to get,” Rep. Markey said.
The letter sent to McKay today can be found here
Rep. Markey has frequently queried BP for more information on the exact size of the spill and on their refusal to engage with outside scientists. Independent scientists have examined video, satellite photos and other aspects of the spill and determined that it may be much bigger than estimated. Today at a briefing Rep. Markey held in his Energy and Environment Subcommittee, independent scientists from Purdue University and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said that the estimate of a 5,000 barrel per day leak was an underestimation of the flow. The scientists said with more data, they could better calculate the flow of oil from the sea floor.
"This is 4th grade math. We know the numerator here—the couple thousand barrels a day BP is siphoning out of the sunken pipe. But we still don’t know the denominator," said Rep. Markey. "BP is capturing a fraction of the oil, but they don’t know what that fraction is. By releasing this video, we’ve taken the first step towards allowing better access to the information BP has about this spill."