Coast Guard To BP: Hurry The Hell Up

Perhaps figuring that if a little forceful nudge from the federal government can get BP to stop dragging its feet on paying businesses hurt by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the U.S. Coast Guard has now told the oil giant that they really need to step up their actions with regards to both stopping the spewing crude and containing/cleaning up the mess that’s already been made.

In fact, in his June 11 letter to BP, Coast Guard Rear Admiral James Watson gives the company a deadline for having an improved plan ready:

BP must identify in the next 48 hours additional leak containment capacity that could be operationalized and expedited.

Watson’s letter comes on the heels of A) news that the amount of oil spilling into the Gulf each day is significantly more than had been previously estimated, and B) BP’s latest briefing on the efforts to plug the spill, some of which won’t be in place until well into July.

Continues Watson:

You indicate that some of the systems you have planned to deploy may take a month or more to bring online. Recognizing the complexity of this challenge, every effort must be expended to speed up the process…

I am also concerned that your plan does not go far enough to mobilize redundant resources in the event of an equipment failure with one of the vessels, or some other unforeseen problem.

Of course, as strongly worded as Watson’s letter was, it makes no mention of what would happen to BP should they not meet the deadline or if the info provided at the end of the 48 hours isn’t satisfactory.

U.S. tells BP to devise better leak response in 48 hours [Reuters]