HOUSTON, TX - At the direction of the President, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar are in Houston today continuing their work on innovative strategies to leverage the best science and engineering to contain the BP oil spill.
"Our scientific team is playing an important role in conducting our own independent analysis at every step of the process, and making sure that decisions are based on the best scientific and engineering information available," said Secretary Chu. "We have engaged more than 200 personnel from our National Laboratories to support this effort, and we are working with top scientists from inside and outside of government to find solutions that will contain this leak."
This is Secretary Chu's third trip to Houston since the spill. It follows a four day trip last week during which Secretary Chu worked with top scientists from the Department's National Laboratories and academia to determine the most effective scientific and engineering approaches to the problem.
"The best minds from federal laboratories and inside and outside of government are doing all they can to contain the flow of oil from BP's well 5,000 feet below the surface." Salazar said. "We will not rest until BP's spill is stopped, until the oil is cleaned up, and until the communities of the Gulf Coast are made whole."
Secretary Salazar has been in Houston since Sunday afternoon. This is his eighth trip to the Gulf region since the start of the BP oil spill.
Secretary Chu and his scientific team, along with Secretary Salazar and U.S. Geological Survey Director Marcia McNutt, are overseeing the LMRP containment cap operation, conducting independent analysis of the data and operational plans to help maximize the chances of success.
Salazar dispatched Dr. Marcia McNutt, the director of the U.S. Geological Survey and science advisor, to BP's Houston Command Center on May 8th to work with federal scientists, engineers, and experts. Dr. McNutt is also the head of the National Incident Command's Flow Rate Technical Group (FRTG), which is a group of top federal scientists, engineers, and experts that is analyzing the rate at which oil is flowing out of BP's well.
Secretary Chu and Secretary Salazar's actions on scene are being coordinated by National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen, who is leading the administration-wide response and directing all interagency activities.
In total, senior administration officials have visited the region 31 times since BP's oil rig exploded on April 20-including trips by the President, National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen, Interior Secretary Salazar, EPA Administrator Jackson, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, NOAA Administrator Lubchenco and SBA Administrator Karen Mills.
Read more information on the federal response effort.