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Boxer, Nelson to BP: “Release All Oil Spill Video Records to Scientists and the Public”
June 8, 2010

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) today wrote to BP America Chairman Lamar McKay and asked that BP "provide full access to all video related to the BP Deepwater Horizon spill, including archived, current, and ongoing video records and that those records be made available for purposes of congressional oversight and for review by independent experts and the public."

To date, BP has made available only selected excerpts from the video records of the spill to investigators estimating the amount of oil and gas gushing from the blowout on the sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico.

Today, in response to a specific request from Senator Boxer, the Environment and Public Works Committee received approximately 12 minutes of high-resolution video of the oil gushing from the well on June 3, after the riser pipe was cut off but before installation of the "top cap" containment device.

"For an independent assessment of the flow rate, scientists and other experts need unfiltered access to all data and video records, including a complete searchable record of all video files," the Senators wrote today. "BP must not hinder the investigation of this matter by making available only pre-selected data and/or video for review as we understand has generally been the case to date. If BP delays provision of these videos or only makes available samples of video, the ability of the outside experts to provide truly independent information is undermined."

Full text of the letter is below.
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June 8, 2010

Lamar McKay
Chairman and President
BP America
501 Westlake Park Blvd.
Houston, TX 77079

Dear Mr. McKay:

We write to request that you provide full access to all video related to the BP Deepwater Horizon spill, including archived, current, and ongoing video records and that those records be made available for purposes of congressional oversight and for review by independent experts and the public.

Having an accurate flow rate from the spill is absolutely critical to establishing a complete scientific record, planning an adequate response, determining the appropriate fines and penalties under federal law, and ensuring a full assessment of damages.

To date, the government's Flow Rate Technical Group has established an initial low-range estimate of 12,000 barrels per day to 25,000 barrels per day - which far exceeds the original estimate of 1,000 barrels per day as well as the revised estimates of 5,000 barrels per day.
Now, we see newly published media reports that cite a member of the Flow Rate Technical Group saying the well may be releasing what your company once-called a worst case scenario: 100,000 barrels a day. That is 4.2 million gallons daily - which would make the spill nearly 20 times bigger than the entire Exxon Valdez spill. And that number continues to grow as the oil keeps gushing.
For an independent assessment of the flow rate, scientists and other experts need unfiltered access to all data and video records, including a complete searchable record of all video files.

BP must not hinder the investigation of this matter by making available only pre-selected data and/or video for review as we understand has generally been the case to date. If BP delays provision of these videos or only makes available samples of video, the ability of the outside experts to provide truly independent information is undermined.

We greatly appreciate your immediate attention to this matter, including your specific plans to quickly and fully respond to this request for action.

Sincerely,


______________                                  __________________
Barbara Boxer                                      Bill Nelson
U.S. Senator                                         U.S. Senator





June 2010 Press Releases

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