June 21st, 2010
09:45 PM ET

Robert Redford Weighs In On Gulf Disaster: Join the Live Chat

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Actor Robert Redford is speaking out about the Gulf oil disaster. He says it was perhaps necessary to "wake us up" and get us to force the "politicians in the government that are in collusion with the energy companies" to move America towards a clean energy future. Redford talks with Anderson for tonight's "Big 360° interview." Plus, we give you an up close look at the efforts to save the animals impacted by this disaster.

Want more details on what we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog
June 21st, 2010
09:34 PM ET

Evening Buzz: BP's Worst-Case Scenario

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Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360°, another internal BP document raising questions about the company's response to the Gulf oil disaster. It shows BP believes under a worst-case scenario that up to 100,000 barrels, or 4.2 million gallons of oil per days, could leak into the Gulf. Remember when this crisis began BP said the leak was just 1,000 barrels per day. Then it raised the estimate to 5,000 barrels. They've continued boosting that number, as we've been telling you for weeks. Though they've never said publicly that the spill could be as high as 100,000 barrels a day. We'll talk this over with Rep. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, who released the BP worst-case scenario document over the weekend.

There's also the new gaffe by BP CEO Tony Hayward. The embattled leader won't attend Tuesday's meeting of the National Oil Companies Congress in London. A company spokesman cited Hayward's "commitment to the Gulf of Mexico relief effort" for the reason why he won't be there. Commitment? If he's so committed, why did he attend a yacht race off the coast of England over the weekend. Hayward was spotted relaxing in sunglasses and a hat at the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race off Britain's Isle of Wight. His own 52-foot yacht "Bob" was part of the event. Weeks ago, Hayward came under fire for saying he'd “like to have his life back”. Seems he got his "life back" over the weekend.

At one point, Hayward realized his weekend retreat was coming under fire. He ended up tweeting this message: "Gulf response efforts remain my top priority. To assure continued focus, Bob Dudley will support me on this full-time to make it right." Again, we have to question his choice of words: a "top priority"?

Meanwhile, we're tracking the amount of money linked to this disaster. BP announced today the cost of the response to the disaster to date is about $2 billion. That estimate includes the cost of the spill response, containment, grants to Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs. As for that federal price tag, BP received a third bill from Washington today for $51.4 million. That brings the total to $122.29 million billed to date by the federal government.

BP also says it has paid $104 million to Gulf residents affected by the spill. But some are still left in limbo and are frustrated by all the red tape. We'll bring you the story of one man who runs a charter fishing boat business. He's having a tough time getting all the money he says he's owed by BP.

If you're looking for a way to help those impact by the spill. Don't miss Larry King's star-studded telethon tonight on CNN. To donate call 1-800-491-GULF. The phone lines will be open until 2am ET. Actor Robert Redford took part in the telethon. He'll talk with Anderson for tonight's big 360° interview.

Hope you can join us for our live coverage from Louisiana starting at 10 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
June 21st, 2010
05:42 PM ET

Reporter's Notebook: Our 5th week in the Gulf

Ismael Estrada
AC360­° Producer

I was able to get home to Chicago for a great Father's Day weekend, while many of my colleagues stayed in the Gulf to continue our coverage of the oil disaster. There is nothing better than sitting in bed, sipping coffee and listening to my three kids giggle with excitement as they run around the house gathering all the gifts they spent the week making for me. I cherish every single moment like that. As we were having a barbecue, many of our friends in the neighborhood came by and started to ask me about the Gulf and expressed how frustrated they were. Some were downright angry. I went back inside after a great day and a half, bathed the kids and packed my bag for another week in the Gulf.
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It's amazing to think that we're heading into our 5th week in the area to cover this oil spill tragedy. Each week, we've met or have seen something that will stay with us forever. The first week we were down here, the oil had just started to wash ashore in Grand Isle. There were signs posted all over the region expressing anger and frustration with B.P.; people were trying to determine how this was going to affect their lives.

The one sight that will remain burned in my memory was the first time Anderson and I went into the marsh. My heart sank as I realized we were literally floating in a giant pool of oil. There were no sounds, no birds, no wildlife, just brown sludge and that horrible toxic smell.


June 21st, 2010
03:55 PM ET

Today's Beat 360° 6/21/10

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

Tiger Woods watches his approach shot on the 18th hole during the third round of the 110th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 19, 2010 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
June 21st, 2010
03:09 PM ET
June 21st, 2010
01:46 PM ET

Come on in, the water is fine

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

I’m standing in the sugar white sands of Pensacola Beach, staring out at impossibly beautiful, clear water, and seeing something that I have never seen before in thirty years of coming to their area: an empty beach at the start of summer. Tourist season on the Gulf has meant massive, excited, and celebratory crowds for as long as I can recall; rivers of people from hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles away coming to enjoy seafood, sun, and some of the prettiest dunes I have ever seen anywhere on the planet.

What has chased the crowds away is not oil per se, because there is precious little sign of it to be found anywhere within miles of here, but rather the fear of oil. And yet that has been enough to leave parking lots, hotels, restaurants and souvenir stands starved for customers. By at least one estimate, the catastrophe of the Deep Water Horizon could cost the Florida Gulf Coast almost 200,000 jobs before it is all over. But people here are fighting back.

The local government has granted some delays in payments from some business people who lease beachfront property; the Florida Small Business Development folks are hustling out loans to keep the lights on for those who are struggling hardest, bridge loans are also coming in to keep the shop doors open day to day, week to week, as they wait to see how the oil scare plays out. But perhaps most importantly, local folks are showing up as much as they can to help make up for the missing visitors, trying to build up their corner of America against terrible odds.

Everyone here knows that the oil may eventually make it to their shore, and they dread it. But for the moment, they are fighting desperately to get the message out that their beaches are pristine, their waters crystal blue, and that this is actually a spectacular time for a Gulf beach vacation. And looking up and down this beautiful shore with the sun rising on another wonderful day, it’s easy to see that they are right.

June 21st, 2010
01:18 PM ET

Opinion: Getting off oil easily is a fantasy

David Frum
CNN Contributor

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President Obama is right: We can take the U.S. off oil. But he omitted to mention the fine print: Doing so will be slow, will be expensive, and will involve huge dislocations in American lifestyles and business.

When politicians talk about energy, they like to talk about magic machines: cars that run on hydrogen fuel cells, electricity that flows free from solar panels on the roof.

But when change comes, it will not come through magic. It will come because changes in relative prices have induced changes in behavior.

We've seen such changes before.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • Opinion • President Barack Obama
June 21st, 2010
12:44 PM ET

Arizona wildfire forces animal shelter, national monument evacuations

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN)– A wildfire raging near Flagstaff, Arizona, has grown to more than 5,000 acres, shutting down part of U.S. Route 89, and it is wholly uncontained, according to the Coconino County website.

The Schultz Fire ignited late Sunday morning. It has caused the Coconino County Sheriff's Office to evacuate at least 748 properties, including two residential neighborhoods, an animal shelter and the Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monuments. The sheriff's office is recommending that nearby residents put together evacuation kits.

The blaze spread so quickly, it caught some locals off guard.

"It's something that unless you've lived through it, I don't think you can imagine," evacuee Patti Vorhees told CNN affiliate KTVK as she packed up her pets and left. "You literally take your prescriptions, your animals and the clothes on your back."

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Arizona • Wildfires
June 21st, 2010
12:38 PM ET
June 21st, 2010
12:30 PM ET

BP document: Worst-case scenario – 4.2 million gallons daily in Gulf

CNN Wire Staff

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A BP estimate made after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon noted that as much as 100,000 barrels per day could leak into the ocean if the blowout preventer and wellhead were removed, a higher worst-case scenario than previously reported.

According to an internal BP document released Sunday by Rep. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, BP believed that the worst-case scenario could be as high as 100,000 barrels, or 4.2 million gallons of oil per day.

The figure is the highest yet to surface regarding the leaking oil well. At the disaster's outset, BP claimed the leak was about 1,000 barrels a day, a number it later revised to 5,000 and then much higher. BP told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the worst-case scenario was 60,000 barrels (2.5 million gallons) a day, lower than what the document states.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
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