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Failure and the Gulf Spill

Is BP blowing the Gulf oil spill challenge? And, is there a cover up? We ask the questions.

A young heron sits dying amidst oil splattering underneath mangrove on an island impacted by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Barataria Bay, just inside the the coast of Lousiana, Sunday, May 23, 2010. (AP)

The gusher of uncontrolled oil goes on and on at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. So does the battle over what we know, and how we understand what’s happened. 

At the very beginning, seven weeks ago, oil giant BP called the spill minor – and kept the sea floor video to itself. 

Now BP’s chief is calling the environmental impact “very, very modest,” while Louisianans watch their shoreline go under. 

Some in Washington cry “cover-up, but Washington is in for criticism now, too. 

This Hour, On Point: the Gulf oil spill challenge, Day 34.

Guests:

Andrew Revkin, writer of the “Dot Earth” blog for the New York Times, where he’s reported on the environment for almost fifteen years. He’s also a senior fellow at Pace University’s Academy for Applied Environmental Studies.

Sylvia Earle, renowned oceanographer, author and lecturer. She’s current Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and the founder of Mission Blue, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ocean exploration, research, and conservation. She’s the former chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Steve Werely, fluid dynamics expert and professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University. His analysis of BP’s early video footage of the leak suggested a much higher flow rate than official estimates; BP has since conceded the leak is bigger than it previously stated. Read Werely’s New York Times op-ed, “The Measure of a Disaster.”

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 17, 2014
Germany's Andre Schuerrle, left, celebrates scoring his side's 6th goal as Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacts during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  Germany went on to win the World Cup championship later that month. (AP)

From the Sochi Olympics and Ray Rice to Lebron’s return to Cleveland, we’ll unpack a big year in sports.

 
Dec 17, 2014
Relatives of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school, mourn over her lifeless body at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months. (AP)

The Taliban take responsibility for killing more than 100 Pakistani schoolchildren. We ask why there, why now.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

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Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

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Quinn Sullivan, LIVE In Our Studio
Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

Fifteen-year old Quinn Sullivan is a humble, “ordinary” high school sophomore. But he’s also a blues guitar phenom. He brought his talents to the On Point studio today.

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