July 8, 2010

Feds Create New Web Site For Gulf Oil Spill

The federal government unveiled a new Web site on Wednesday that provides information related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. 

The new site, which can be viewed at www.restorethegulf.gov, represents a departure from the government's jointly run Web portal with BP "“ www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com -- which was established the early days following the sinking of BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 22.

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, president Obama's national incident commander for the spill, said the new site aims to "serve as a one-stop repository for news, data and operational updates related to administration-wide efforts to stop the BP oil leak."

The site will provide "even greater transparency and openness about the BP oil spill, our historic response, the tools available to assist Gulf Coast communities, and plans for the region's long-term recovery and restoration," said Allen in a statement.

Critics had claimed that the former site, jointly operated by BP and the federal government, sent mixed messages, particularly when it came to disclosing the flow rate of oil gushing into the Gulf.

Furthermore, BP's executives and representatives were cited uncritically on the site, even when government authorities publicly questioned the oil giant's account of the size of the spill.

U.S. officials said the new Web site provides links to government news releases, and offers easier access to people filing claims on spill-related losses.

Allen said users of the new site could also view data maps, information about current operations and ways to volunteer for cleanup work.

"We are committed to providing the American people access to complete and accurate information about our response to the BP oil spill and the resources available to assist those directly impacted," he said.

The latest government estimates indicate that as many as 60,000 barrels of oil are leaking from the ruptured well each day.  

The spill is not expected to be permanently capped until the first of two relief wells is completed, at which time mud and cement can be injected into the leak.


Image Caption: Ronnie Rouse, of T&T Marine Salvage, a company contracted to clean tar balls off of Galveston beaches, picks up a tar ball on East Beach Tuesday. Once collected, the tar balls are sent to a lab to be tested, where experts analyize the results in an attempt to find the oil source. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Prentice Danner.