Dr. Ira Leifer Government Expert Commissioned to Determine Flow Rate of oil leaking in Gulf of Mexic
Blitzer interviews Prof. Ira Leifer from Univ. of California at Santa Barbara, part of the government team of experts commissioned by President Obama to determine the flow of oil leaking out of the Gulf of Mexico. They discuss the flow before the pipe was cut since the estimate of what was coming out has been increased to 20,000 to 40,000 barrels a day – that now since the cap on the pipe was cute June 3rd as part of the containment procedure that there may be multiple times more oil gushing out. They also discuss concerns about the structural quality of the well itself and the worst case scenario which would be for the oil to find its way through the rocks on the sea bed rather than through the well if its structure has been compromised. This would go from an engineering problem to a natural problem. He talks about examples when this took place in Santa Barbara where there are natural seeps of 100 barrels a day being released naturally. This would be much worst. This is why he says it is vital to know the amount of oil coming out of the leak so they can implement the procedure that has the lowest risk for the Gulf of Mexico. Leifer says he needs other kind of data other than videos from BP and that this data is still not forthcoming from BP. Blitzer says that it is shocking for BP to not provide Leifer with all the information he needs since he is one of the Federal government’s own experts brought together by President Obama. Blitzer can’t understand why BP would stonewall these efforts since this is the worst environmental disaster in the history of the United States of America. Leifer hopes that BP will come through with all the data scientists need, as well as letting them make measurements of the oil flow so they can make sure they are using the best science and technology to make sure this is done safely. Blitzer adds ‘Because the stakes are so enormous." Segment ends with an oil rig survivors of the Deepwater Horizon who shares a testimonial of what unfolded when the rig exploded.