“The Obama Administration clearly wants to send the signal that it’s keeping the pressure on BP to do everything humanly possible to stop the uncontrolled flow of oil in the Gulf of Mexico and to get the company to pick up the cost for cleaning up the mess and the economic losses to people in the gulf region.

“So the administration has embraced the violent imagery of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar who said administration officials would keep their ‘boot on the throat’ of the energy giant to make sure the company does all it can and more to address the problems caused by its uncontrolled ocean gusher.

“But those words sounded to some observers as though the administration was suggesting that the company was somehow dragging its heels. If the administration just wanted to indicate it was going to keep the pressure up on BP why not just say it that way?”

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“If U.S. officials had followed up on a 1994 response plan for a major Gulf oil spill, it is possible that the spill could have been kept under control and far from land.

“The problem: The federal government did not have a single fire boom on hand

“A single fire boom being towed by two boats can burn up to 1,800 barrels of oil an hour, Bohleber said. That translates to 75,000 gallons an hour, raising the possibility that the spill could have been contained at the accident scene 100 miles from shore.

“‘They said this was the tool of last resort. No, this is absolutely the asset of first use. Get in there and start burning oil before the spill gets out of hand,’ Bohleber said. ‘If they had six or seven of these systems in place when this happened and got out there and started burning, it would have significantly lessened the amount of oil that got loose.'”

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