[By the end of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming hearing on Thursday, BP officials said they would provide live streaming video of the subsea oil and gas leaks. But if you're having trouble watching the live video feed of the oil spill, you're not alone. When the streaming of the live video began on Thursday, overwhelming interest crashed servers. The video is streaming video on the House Special Committee's Spillcam and on BP's website but I was only able to view the video while using Safari as my browser. The video was not displaying in Firefox or Google Chrome, I have not heard any reports about trouble with Explorer].
For almost a month, BP monitored oil and natural gas gushing from the broken riser and blow-out preventer with remote operated vehicles (ROVs). And for almost a month, they kept all of that video to entirely to themselves.
In light of mounting pressure about access to information about the leak, BP released two short video clips of oil and gas gushing from the broken riser pipe. Using those videos, scientists specializing in modeling liquid dynamics with video imagery have estimated the leak to be producing 5 to 10 times the volume of oil and gas as BP's original estimates.
"I don't see any scenario under which their estimates are accurate," Steve Wereley, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University said in testimony to the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee.
But the videos were not entirely satisfactory for many. They were short, of fair quality and one could conceivably argue hand-selected because they displayed some particularly favorable (in BP's eyes) characteristics, like a more favorable gas-to-oil ratio.
Congressman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Senator Bill Nelson of Florida continued to press BP for more access to the video stream of the two remaining oil leaks and BP finally released three and half minutes of video. Still not satisfied, Rep. Markey demanded BP produce the real-time feed of the video, even saying he would host it on the sub-committee's website.
"BP is going to have to pay for the cleanup of this spill and the long-term damage. Hosting this video on our website is the only freebie they're going to get," Markey said.
"This may be BP's footage, but it's America's ocean. Now anyone will be able to see the real-time effects the BP spill is having on our ocean," said Markey.
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