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June 26, 2010 / J. Shaw

Disaster in the Gulf: 68 Days and Counting … Day by Day Log

The following daily updates are based on a review of White House schedules, news releases and news coverage and do not cover every activity in the Gulf or in Washington:The Obama administration claims it has been on top of the Gulf oil spill disaster since “day one.” Here’s a look at what the president and administration have been doing every day since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded April 20, triggering the massive spill. 

The following daily updates are based on a review of White House schedules, news releases and news coverage and do not cover every activity in the Gulf or in Washington:

June 26

In the Gulf: Tropical weather gathering strength in the Caribbean could be the latest bad news for BP crews trying to contain and clean up the massive oil spill in the Gulf, an effort that has been plagued with setbacks for more than two months. It is still too early to tell exactly where tropical storm Alex might go how it might affect oil on and below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, forecasters said. 

At the White House: President Obama finishes up with the G8 meeting in Huntsville and then travels south to Toronto where he will participate in the G20 meeting.

June 25

In the Gulf: BP claimed that tests show a relief well should be completed by mid-August. The well is considered the best hope for permanently plugging the leaking oil. 

At the White House: President Obama traveled to Toronto to meet with G8 leaders.

June 24

In the Gulf: A cap was back in place on BP’s broken oil well after a deep-sea blunder forced crews to temporarily remove what has been the most effective method so far for containing some of the massive Gulf of Mexico spill. Engineers using remote-controlled submarines repositioned the cap late Wednesday after it had been off for much of the day. It had captured 700,000 gallons of oil in 24 hours before one of the robots bumped into it late in the morning. Bob Dudley, BP’s new point man for the oil response, said crews had done the right thing to remove the cap because fluid seemed to be leaking and could have been a safety hazard.

At the White House: President Obama held a bilateral meeting and joint news conference with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

June 23

In the Gulf: BP PLC said that managing director Bob Dudley will head the new Gulf Coast Restoration Organization, which is in charge of cleaning up the oil spill. Dudley won’t say if the oil giant will resume deepwater drilling in the Gulf, where it’s the largest oil and gas producer. Dudley says the company will “step back” from the issue while investigating the April 20 explosion. Dudley told the CBS “Early Show” he has completed taking over the disaster response and cleanup from CEO Tony Hayward. Hayward repeatedly sparked criticism from the Gulf to the U.S. Capitol for missteps and insensitive comments.

At the White House:The White House has promised an immediate appeal of a federal judge’s reversal of the administration’s six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. And Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he will issue a new order imposing a moratorium that eliminates any doubt it is needed and appropriate. Judge Martin Feldman overturned the ban Tuesday, saying the government simply assumed that because one rig exploded, the others pose an imminent danger, too. The Interior Department had imposed the moratorium last month in the wake of the BP disaster, halting approval of any new permits for deepwater projects and suspending drilling on 33 exploratory wells.

June 22

In the Gulf: The owner of the offshore rig involved in the massive Gulf oil spill sharply criticized the U.S. government’s six-month ban on deepwater drilling. Transocean Ltd. president Steven Newman told reporters at an oil industry conference in London that there were things the  Obama administration “could implement today that would allow the industry to go back to work tomorrow without an arbitrary six-month time limit.”

At the White House: President Obama will meet with health insurers and state insurance commissioners at the White House. Afterward, he will speak to reporters about the ongoing effort to implement the new health care overhaul law, and the new benefits it affords to families across the country. He’ll deliver his remarks in the East Room. In the evening, Obama will speak to gay activists at the White House. Vice President Biden will also attend the event.



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