Update: BP has reversed their decision to cut the public video feed during Operation Top Kill. The oil company provides no reason for the decision to cut the feed in the first place.
I am not kidding or trying to say "I told you so," but late last week I was joking with a friend saying that I bet BP's underwater video feed of the broken oil pipe would experience a "technical glitch" during their next attempt to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Turns out to not be a joke at all, because that is exactly what the oil company plans to do.
After making a live video camera feed of the oil gushing out of the broken pipe at the bottom of the Gulf Of Mexico, British Petroleum (NYSE:BP) now says they will turn off the camera during their next attempt to plug the hole.
Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) who first demanded that BP make the live camera feed available to the public is not too happy with this decision saying that:
"It is outrageous that BP would kill the video feed for the top kill. This BP blackout will obscure a vital moment in this disaster," said Rep. Markey, who chairs the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and the Energy and Environment Subcommittee in the Energy and Commerce Committee. "After more than a month of spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP is essentially saying to the American people the solution will not be televised."
I would go further and suggest that BP is telling the world that their latest plan to stop the flow of oil - the impressive sounding "Operation Top Kill" - is a long shot at best.
Why else would they not keep the camera rolling?
While there has been no official word from BP as to why they will be cutting the feed, I would bet they are going say something like:" Due to the complicated nature of our latest attempt to stop the oil at source, we will be unable to work a video camera during this time." Okay, their explanation might be a little different, but there's no doubt that they will try to appeal to complex nature of the operation as an excuse for not allowing the public access to the live feed.
I would recommend to BP that they just admit they don't want the public to see the latest attempt live because it is one thing to say you've failed, but a whole other thing to fail and have millions of people watching it live on their computer screens.
Some honesty would be refreshing.
You can see the live cam feed of the BP oil spill here for the time being.
BP will be shortly commencing what they are calling "Operation Top Kill" where they will be injecting oil drilling mud down into the broken pipeline in hopes of staunching the flow. At this point BP says there is about a 60% chance of the operation being successful.