Oil Spill: Were BP and the Government Too Quick to Declare Success?

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ByABC News
August 17, 2010, 8:37 AM

Aug. 17, 2010— -- While BP's well in the Gulf of Mexico remains plugged, new information suggests that plenty of oil remains in the waters and possibly headed toward shore.

Scientists at the University of Georgia now say that as much as 80 percent of the leaked crude could still be somewhere below the water's surface, according to an estimate by the university, based on federal data. The scientists say that even if oil has been dissolved, it's hardly gone from the ocean environment.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that patches of oil have been seen in the marshes of St. Bernard Parish, and off the coast of Plaquemines Parish. Tar balls and oil sheen turned up when the bottom of Bastian Buy was disturbed.

Meanwhile, the Daily Beast reports that fishermen hired by BP are still finding tar balls, but they're under orders to hide their discoveries in a cover-up.

At the beginning of this month, the news appeared far rosier. With the well plugged, the federal government announced that nearly three-quarters of the spilled oil was no longer a threat.

"A report out today by our scientists shows that the vast majority of the spilled oil has been dispersed or removed from the water," President Obama said on August 4th.

Our question to you today: Were BP and the Government Too Quick to Declare Success?

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