Transcript: Costner Inspired by Exxon Valdez to Create Oil-Cleaning Machine

"It represents -- an opportunity to actually be proactive. It represents maybe an opportunity for an industry to go back to work. If we can show that there's a responsible answer to an inevitable problem. This little life preserver, this machine, this-- (LAUGH) I call it a real machine. Might as well say it's $20 million. (LAUGH) This …this could be a pivot point where it looks -- that there's a responsible answer. Because there is no other responsible answer to oil that spills. And if there is a responsible answer, I think people can go back to work."

CHAMPION: Take me, for just a second, straight through what would happen now. If everything's ready to go, people are ready to go now, what are the next couple of steps …?

COSTNER: W ... I don't actually …

CHAMPION: If … BP says, "Let's go. Here's the check." The government says, "Yes. It's approved. Put it in there."


CHAMPION: What happens then?

COSTNER: Well, you go into a massive manufacturing. And if you get, it's just very simple. You know, you start shipping life preservers. It's really what you do. And … and you have to figure out how to do it the responsible way. What's the responsible way? Industry will tell us that.

CHAMPION: How long will it take to get enough machines out there on the water that we're at least stemming the tide and …

COSTNER: I can't--

CHAMPION: --making a difference?

COSTNER: --I can't actually speak to that. You know, like I said, we're comin' to this fight late.


COSTNER: But I think … there has to be a parallel track. We have to send assets to start to clean this thing up and know that that's going to be a long term. It should be an enormous amount of assets, these machines sent there. But we should not make the mistake of thinking that … then government and industry alike should be ordering machines on a parallel track to be putting on the barracks and the service boats. It's got to be a dual situation going forward.

CHAMPION: So you're not … you're basically trying to change the way they take spills in general? And--

COSTNER: I just think it's time that we … see what we're doing out there, you know. And I just think it's time to drag the oil industry response into the 21st century.

CHAMPION: On all the tests that you've done, how successful is this …? 'Cause I just …. the reason I ask that is I haven't seen all of them. And I know there's different qualities of oil …


CHAMPION: --different situations--


COSTNER: --this machine's incredibly effective. It can actually spit out water at a 99.9 percent purity. And so it's … been where the dispersants were. We didn't know that it would work there. It's taken a long time to get it out there. So the great thing about the machine is it can operate where there's no dispersants. There's no need to pollute … we don't need chemicals to operate that machine in blue water. It was taken into the ground water. It was taken in close to the marsh, where it got very, very thick. And like--


COSTNER: --I said earlier, we had to engineer it and found that we could do that. And so--

CHAMPION: So that's working now.

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