By Tony Romm - 05/20/10 06:51 PM EDT
Oil company BP has agreed to allow the Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming to post on its website a live feed of the spill still ravaging the Gulf Coast.
The video, posted on Wednesday, arrives at the request of committee Chairman Edward Markey (D-Mass.), who demanded in a strong letter this week that BP CEO Lamar McKay publish the footage online. He offered his committee's website as a possible venue, in case BP's own online resources could not handle it — an offer BP apparently took up.
“This may be BP’s footage, but it’s America’s ocean. Now anyone will be able to see the real-time effects the BP spill is having on our ocean,” the chairman said before BP released the video. “This footage will aid analysis by independent scientists blocked by BP from coming to see the spill.”
“BP is going to have to pay for the cleanup of this spill and the long-term damage. Hosting this video on our website is the only freebie they’re going to get,” the congressman added.
Viewers, however, may experience difficulty accessing both the committee's site and the new oil spill feed. Markey's staff told Hillicon Valley on Thursday that unexpectedly high traffic had seriously slowed most viewers' access to the page.
BP was leasing the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded and sank last month, devastating the coast. While BP told reporters it has captured about 210,000 gallons of oil each day, they fear some is still escaping its grasp.