Public, Scientists Deserve to See All Video from Spill, Says Chairman; Markey Offers to Host Feed on Website If BP Cannot

WASHINGTON (May 19, 2010) – In advance of hosting a congressional briefing today with independent scientists on the true size of the oil leak, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) sent a letter to BP America’s CEO Lamar McKay asking that the company make a live stream of video from the oil leak site publicly available to give unfettered access of the accident and recovery to scientists and the American public. BP currently has several remotely controlled submersibles taking video of the accident site 24 hours a day, but has only released a fraction of the video. Rep. Markey also sent a letter to Admiral Thad Allen of the Coast Guard on the matter.
The letters are publicly available on the web here .

Allowing the public to view this video could provide our best scientists and engineers with information that could be helpful in developing much needed solutions to the ongoing oil spill, both in terms of subsea operations and surface spill response,” writes Rep. Markey in the letter. Rep. Markey chairs the Energy and Environment Subcommittee in the Energy and Commerce Committee. “Congress and the American public have the right to know what is happening in real time, so that they can understand and react to the situation as it develops.”

Rep. Markey has frequently queried BP for more information on the exact size of the spill and on their refusal to engage with outside scientists. Independent scientists have examined video, satellite photos and other aspects of the spill and determined that it may be much bigger. One analysis by Steve Wereley from Purdue University put the rate of spill at 70,000 barrels a day, much higher than the BP-pushed estimate of 5,000 barrels a day.

If BP cannot host the live video stream, Rep. Markey’s offered to do so on his award-winning website,, at no cost to BP. Rep. Markey suggests that all congressional committees be given the same unfettered access to the video feed.