"The long battle to stop the leak and contain the oil" befouling the Gulf of Mexico is at last nearing a finish, President Barack Obama said Wednesday.
"We learned overnight that efforts to stop the well through what's called a 'static kill' appear to be working and that a report out today by our scientists shows that the vast majority of spilled oil has been dispersed or removed from the water," the president told the AFL-CIO executive committee at the labor union's meeting in Washington.
"So, the long battle to stop the leak and contain the oil is finally close to coming to an end, and we are very pleased with that," he said.
On the cleanup front, 74 percent of the oil that leaked from the well since the drilling rig sank in April has been collected, has dispersed or has evaporated, according to a government report released Wednesday.
The study, from agencies including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of the Interior, says of the total amount of oil that was spewed into the Gulf of Mexico (the most recent estimate is 205.8 million gallons), just 26 percent remains in the water, either on or just below the surface as light sheen and weathered tar balls.
The tar balls are either washing ashore, being collected from the coastlines, or buried in sand and sediment and are in the process of being degraded, the report said.
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