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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Natural Disaster



May 18, 2010 - 12:55 PM | by: Greg Palkot

Embattled Chief Executive of BP Tony Hayward come up with some controversial comments regarding the oil spill in Gulf of Mexico.  This time talking to Fox News sister network Sky News.

There has been some success in reducing the flow of the leak and the amount of  “oily liquid” clean up crews are picking up.

So Hayward told Sky while a detailed environmental assessment will be needed decide the impact :

“…everything we can see at this moment suggests that the overall environmental impact will be very, very modest.”

He said basically same thing to the UK’s Guardian newspaper last week :

 “…The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean.  The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to total water volume.”

The reaction to the latest comment?  At the very least, environmentalists we’ve talked to describe the “modest” characterization as “premature.”

“This has the potential,” according to Colin Butfield of the World Wildlife Fund, “to be a major environmental disaster

The numbers ARE building :

The estimated amount of oil released so far in the Gulf  is some 5 million gallons.   Over a million more than the Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969. Getting closer, day by day to the 11 million gallons spilled in the Exxon Valdez incident.

UK-based author of recently-published “Oil  :  Money, Politics and Power” told Fox News Hayward is “…fighting against terrible odds.   He’s at the mercy of his engineers.”

At the same time, Bower has been critical of BP Hayward’s public relation approach to the crisis.

Regarding the “hits” BP is now taking from the White House, Hayward told Sky, “I think it is natural that the administration demonstrate they are on top of  it”

The folks in the Gulf elsewhere are probably hoping BP will “get on top of it” as well.

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