Grassley suggests beer-brewing process as oil spill solution

One Republican senator offered his suggestion for cleaning up oil in the Gulf of Mexico: the beer-brewing process.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa) said that some of the ingredients used to make beer could be deployed in the Gulf to contain and consume the oil that has been spreading over the last 51 days.

"I think that there's alternatives to soaking up oil that have not been used yet," Grassley said in a conference call with Iowa reporters. "There's a process for making beer — I don't know if it's the yeast or what it is in making beer. You can put those microscopic things on oil and they die, and all you've got is some methane gas left."

The spill has left engineers at BP and government officials alike scrambling for solutions to contain and clean up the spill, the largest in the nation's history. Some hair salons have collected long hair to help contain the oil, among other inventive solutions that have been tried.

Grassley said the administration has been doing all it could to attempt to stop the deepwater leak from a BP-leased pipeline. But the veteran senator accused the administration of being deficient when it came to containment and cleanup.

"The spill itself, I think the administration is doing all they can do because it doesn't have the capability of doing more to stop the flow of oil," he said. "They're going to have to rely on oil companies to do that; that's where the expertise is."

"In every other respect, I don't think that the administration's doing enough," Grassley added. "They waited a whole month to respond to the berms being built at the request of Gov. [Bobby] Jindal."

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