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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
Apr 27, 2015
Flowers and ribbons adorn a tree outside the Weinstein family house in Rockville, Md. last week. Earlier, President Barack Obama ook full responsibility for the counterterror missions and offered his "grief and condolences" to the families of the hostages, Warren Weinstein of Rockville, Maryland, and Giovanni Lo Porto who were inadvertently killed by CIA drone strikes early this year. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

American drone policy and consequences. We’ll look at secret strikes and the evolution of drone war.

Apr 27, 2015
Former Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner at a charity event in 2013. (Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP)

Bruce Jenner opens up about his gender journey. We’ll look at the big picture of transgender life in America now.

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Apr 24, 2015
Dick West (Dr. Walter Richard West, Wah-pah-nah-yah or Wapah Nahya, Light Foot Runner), 1912−1996, Southern Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Cheyenne Sun Dance—The Third Day, 1949. Paper, casein, 24 5/8 x 35 1/8 inches. © 2013 Philbrook Museum of Art, Inc., Museum purchase, 1949.20, Photo: John Lamberton.

Artists of earth and sky. Rawhide, bear claw, eagle feathers and the glory of America’s Plans Indians, on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 
Apr 24, 2015
The Rev. Jamal Bryant leads a rally outside of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP)

Loretta Lynch gets a vote. Race and anger in Baltimore. Migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. Petraeus, sentenced. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

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