Carol Browner on BP spill: ‘We are prepared for the worst’

Carol Browner, White House Energy Adviser, appears on "Meet the Press" in Washington, May 30, 2010. NBC

On Meet the Press this morning, Carol Browner discussed the scenario we reported here early this morning, that BP and U.S. officials are preparing for the Deepwater Horizon well to continue leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico through the summer. The White House climate change and energy adviser, Browner is interviewed by David Gregory:

MR. GREGORY:  But let me just break one thing down.  You just heard from Mr. Dudley from BP.  He thinks there’s actually a better shot at containment now than even perhaps what they had with–what they were doing with the top kill. Is that the government’s view as well?

MS. BROWNER:  Well, the top kill would have shut it down.  There wouldn’t have been any oil coming up.  We’re now going to move into a situation where they’re going to attempt to control the oil that’s coming out, move it to a vessel, take it onshore.  Obviously that’s not the preferred scenario.  We always knew that the relief well was the permanent way to close this, to get it killed so there wasn’t oil coming up while the relief well was being drilled was the second option.  Now we move to the third option, which is to contain it.  And what our scientists are saying–I think you asked him some very good questions, which is why would this containment work vs. the other containment?  It’s going to be a cap, there’ll be a snugger fit.  They’ve learned a lot from the first big cofferdam effort, but we’re going to remain vigilant.  Our scientists are going to be on the scene asking probing questions, giving strong advice if we think something isn’t going right.

MR. GREGORY:  Right.  But the bottom line is, you’re not–I should say, the bottom line is, the chances are very high that nothing is going to work until a relief well is in place.  All these attempts are still basically low-percentage plays.  We’re looking at an oil flow that goes on until August.

MS. BROWNER:  We are prepared for the worst.  We have been prepared from the beginning.  We will continue to assume that we move into the worst case scenario, which is, as you point out, is there is some oil leaking onto–up to the surface and then onto the beaches and shorelines.  We will continue to prepare for that.


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