September 23, 2010

Costner Pitches Oil Cleanup Plan To Congress

Best known as the star and director of several Hollywood blockbusters, actor Kevin Costner found himself in a different role on Wednesday--testifying in front of Congress as the head of a company he claims can provide a "no-nonsense approach" to cleaning up oil spills.

According to MSNBC.com, Costner, the founder of Blue Planet Solutions, told the House of Representatives committee on homeland security, "We can choose to enlist a fleet of 6,000 vessels that are hampered by their lack of training and preparedness, or we can create a dedicated fleet of 190 state-of-the-art vessels."

"We can choose to let oil come to the surface and mechanically recover it as a saleable asset or we can burn it," he added. "We can choose to separate oil from water at high speeds at output that exceeds the EPA standard and improve the efficiency of every boat on the water or we can use dispersants and sink it to the bottom. We can choose to recover oil or we can choose to cover it up."

Costner, who is also involved with Ocean Therapy Solutions (OTS) and invested a reported $20 million of his own money towards the development of portable oil spill cleanup device, told the House panel that it his company would require $850 million in startup costs. Afterwards, he said that his team would need an additional $150 million per year to "maintain readiness," according to MSNBC.com.

Speaking to AFP reporters prior to his testimony, Costner expressed his frustration with BP's handling of the oil spill cleanup effort in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Our machines sat on a barge waiting to separate oil and water for days before some boats could even come," he said, calling the Deepwater Horizon recovery efforts "a tangled mess."

On Sunday, workers permanently sealed the Macondo 252 that had spilled more 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over a five month period. The spill, which began 48 hours after an explosion killed 11 crew members and caused the Deepwater Horizon rig to sink on April 20, has been called one of the largest environmental disasters in American history.


On the Net: