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BP caps the oil spill: Hooray?
After 86 days, BP crude has finally stopped gushing into the Gulf — at least for now. Is there anything to celebrate?
For the moment, at least, BP's new cap has stopped the flow of oil
For the moment, at least, BP's new cap has stopped the flow of oil
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or the first time since April 20, no oil is flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's Macondo well. If tests show that the cap currently in place can contain the oil, and the well's plumbing isn't leaking, BP hopes that the arrangement will prevent any more crude from spilling until relief wells are completed and create a permanent plug. Can we celebrate yet? (Watch a live cam of the cleanup)

This can only be good news: "To put it mildly," says Steve Benen in Washington Monthly, the lack of oil gushing into the Gulf is "a welcome sight." The test to see if the cap should stay on isn't over, and neither is the crisis, but even if the test fails, BP thinks it can siphon up all the oil. "For the first time in a long while, there's reason for optimism — cautious optimism."
"Oil well sealed (for now)"

It ain't over till it's over: Unfortunately, "the trickiest part is yet to come," says Ariel Schwartz in Fast Company. The cap's "integrity test" is a dicey affair, and even when the well is definitively sealed we have to "focus on the even larger task of cleaning up BP's mess." Still, the cap's success thus far is "a much-needed reminder that we should still have faith in human ingenuity."
"BP oil gusher finally plugged... maybe"

Thank a "lowly plumber," not BP: If BP deserves any credit for ingenuity, it's for listening to outsiders, says Patrik Jonsson in The Christian Science Monitor. The new cap's design looks a lot like one sketched out by a "mystery plumber," according to U.C. Berkeley engineering professor Robert Bea, who passed on the anonymous man's design to the Coast Guard. And looking at the cap, Bea says, "you can kind of see how a plumber thinks this way."
"'Mystery plumber' may be brains behind containment cap"

Yay! Does anyone still care? It's great that BP has finally notched a success, says Chris Cillizza in The Washington Post. But a new Gallup poll shows Americans have begun "to turn [their] gaze away from the oil spill" — probably because the media's "wall-to-wall coverage" has "dulled the public's outrage." The same phenomenon happens with wars: Intense interest at first, ever less as the battle drags on.
"Gulf Oil spill fades as issue"

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