by The Associated Press
Friday, April 30, 2010
NEW ORLEANS -- British Petroleum downplayed the possibility of a catastrophic accident at an offshore oil rig that exploded and caused the worst U.S. spill in decades along the Gulf Coast.
In its 52-page exploration plan and environmental impact analysis for the well, BP repeatedly suggested it was unlikely, or virtually impossible, for an accident to occur that would lead to a giant crude oil spill and serious damage to beaches, fish, mammals and fisheries.
The U.S. Coast Guard estimates the mile-deep well is spewing 200,000 gallons per day.
The company conceded a spill would impact beaches and wildlife, but argued the rig's distance from shore and the company's ability to respond would prevent serious coastal damage.