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Maintaining the oil pressure

Mark Mardell | 02:11 UK time, Monday, 17 May 2010

Louisiana

Remember President Obama saying he was going to pursue BP "aggressively"? Remember him talking of the "ridiculous spectacle" of the companies involved in the spill making excuses on the hill?

The aggression hasn't lessened as BP tentatively proclaims the success of its plan to suck up the oil and gas spilling out of the ruptured pipeline into a storage ship.

First the secretaries for the interior, Ken Salazar, and homeland security, Janet Napolitano, sent a stern letter demanding to know if BP really meant what it said when it promised to pay all the costs.

Now another barbed statement has followed.

"This technique is not a solution to the problem, and it is not yet clear how successful it may be. We are closely monitoring BP's test with the hope that it will contain some of the oil, but at the same time, federal scientists are continuing to provide oversight and expertise to BP as they move forward with other strategies to contain the spill and stop the flow of oil. We will not rest until BP permanently seals the wellhead, the spill is cleaned up, and the communities and natural resources of the Gulf Coast are restored and made whole."

For the moment, BP is taking it on the chin. But I wonder if there will be a reaction to the continued assault, and whether it makes other big companies nervous...

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