Gulf oil leak spurs innovative thinking, but no solutions yet

The World

Oil from the Deepwater Horizon leak continues to gush into the Gulf Coast Ocean at a rate of around 210,000 gallons per day, leaving engineers and cleanup crews with two massive challenges: stopping the leak, and mopping up the oil that has already made its way into the water.

After BP’s forty-foot containment dome malfunctioned, officials at BP began to float other ideas ? some of them experimental ? including a technique known as a “junk shot”: a big wad of trash injected into the top of the well that could, theoretically, plug the leak.

Philip Johnson, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Alabama, joins us with his thoughts on innovative ways to plug the leak. And Erich Gundlach, an independent oil spill consultant who worked on the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, among others, offers his take on the creative thinking around cleaning up all that crude oil.

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