There’s plenty to report from the Gulf Coast tonight. BP says it spent the day evaluating the results of the first round of its so-called “top kill” effort to plug the massive mile-deep oil well leak off the Louisiana coast. The company’s chief operating officer said BP temporarily stopped pumping drilling fluid into the well just before midnight and resumed the effort a short time ago. Tonight we’ll take a close look at how well the top kill is working.
Meantime, we learned today the spill is worse than first thought–much worse. A new estimate shows it’s the largest in U.S. history, surpassing the Exxon Valdez spill. Also today, the National Weather Service issued its hurricane forecast. It predicts eight to 14 storms this season, with as many as seven reaching category three or higher. That forecast is adding to the sense of urgency along the Gulf Coast
President Obama today defended the government’s handling of the spill. He says he’s on top of the crisis. He also ordered work to be suspended on exploratory drilling in the Gulf and cancelled or deferred some future wells around the country. This, as the head of the Mineral Management Service, Elizabeth Birnbaum, resigned.
We also heard from some the families of the 11 men killed when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded. They testified before Congress, urging lawmakers to hit BP and everyone responsible for the disaster where they’ll feel it most—in their wallets.
Anderson and his team on the ground in Louisiana also heard an earful from locals who say they’ve received very little compensation from BP so far. They’re skeptical BP will make good on its promises to reimburse everyone’s losses from the spill.
Then there are the victims with no voices. How many animals—from fish to birds to dolphins—have already died? How many species are being threatened by the spill? Incredibly, it seems there’s an effort to keep that information hidden. But why?
We’ll cover all of these angles tonight in our live coverage from the Gulf.
See you at 10 p.m. eastern.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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