With no oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico since the middle of July and the permanent relief well expected to be finished by the middle of this month, officials are beginning to think ahead to long-term recovery for the region.
A man who has had a heck of a summer got to share some good news Sunday.
Adm. Thad Allen, the Coast Guard’s National Incident Commander for the Gulf Disaster, said, “I think there's a basis for optimism moving forward.”
With images on the Gulf of Mexico floor improving from mid-June to this past week, talk is now on long-term recovery efforts for the affected Gulf Coast areas.
BP will be paying billions in damages. Senators from Gulf Coast states want 80 percent to go back to the region.
When asked about President Obama's views on that, the White House Energy and Climate adviser said there have been difficulties getting consensus from Congress.
“We're going to have to work with them to make sure that the Gulf Coast communities see the benefits of this money,” said Carol Browner.
Meanwhile Allen was asked to give BP a letter grade on its handling of the massive environmental disaster. He hesitated to assign one, saying the company got high marks for its technological response but didn't do as well on a personal level.
“They do not do retail sales, or deal with individuals on a transactional basis and that has been a big struggle for them,” said Allen.
Allen also says he would also like to see the technology used to cap the well, included in undersea oil production.