Dropping Dome Doesn’t Work, So BP Trying Trash

60 Mile Long Trail of Dispersed Oil

“There’s no way that dome is going to work,” one Venice, LA fishing boat captain told me last week. “It’s just a distraction to make it look like BP is doing something while they drill the relief well, which is the only thing that’ll stop the leak.”

I thought of that fisherman when I heard the first attempt at placing the dome had failed — and that BP has another plan:

Engineers are examining whether they can close a failed blowout preventer by stuffing it with trash, said Adm. Thad Allen, the commandant of the Coast Guard. The 48-foot-tall, 450-ton device sits atop the well at the heart of the Gulf oil spill and is designed to stop leaks, but it has not been working properly since the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20 and later sank.

“The next tactic is going to be something they call a junk shot,” Allen told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “They’ll take a bunch of debris — shredded up tires, golf balls and things like that — and under very high pressure, shoot it into the preventer itself and see if they can clog it up and stop the leak.”

Oil company BP, the well’s owner, had attempted to lower a four-story containment vessel over the well to cap the larger of the well’s two leak points. But that plan was thwarted Saturday after ice-like hydrate crystals, formed when gas combined with water, blocked the top of the dome and made it buoyant.

Much more on the BP oil spill’s latest wildlife impacts later today.

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For all the latest news on how the oil spill is impacting the Gulf Coast’s wildlife and to learn how you can help, visit www.nwf.org/oilspill.