Bill Clinton: The Navy may have to blow up the oil well

Via CBS, a little something to file away in case the relief wells that BP’s currently drilling don’t do the trick. Skip ahead to 2:30 or so for the money bit. Mind you, he’s not suggesting a nuclear fix here — that idea still resides in the feds’ “crazy” file at last check — but if the new wells fail and the crude keeps a-bubblin’ on into September, all options will be on the table. An interesting detail from the CBS piece: Assuming the worst-case scenario materializes, would BP sue to keep American bombs away from the leak?

There has been some pressure for BP to simply blow up the well, with critics suggesting the company is forgoing that option out of a desire to get as much oil as possible from the rig.

“If we demolish the well using explosives, the investment’s gone,” former nuclear submarine officer and a visiting scholar on nuclear policy at Columbia University Christopher Brownfield said in a Fox News interview in May. “They lose hundreds of millions of dollars from the drilling of the well, plus no lawmaker in his right mind would allow BP to drill again in that same spot. So basically, it’s an all-or-nothing thing with BP: They either keep the well alive, or they lose their whole investment and all the oil that they could potentially get from that well.” (He penned an opinion piece in the New York Times making the argument.)

Roughly 95 percent of the available oil in the field is still underground, so there’s plenty of black gold for BP to mine if they can get it under control.

As for BJ’s point about how the feds are now “taking help from other countries,” that’s true but limited: According to Thad Allen, 15 foreign vessels are now working on the clean-up. And no, they didn’t need any Jones Act waivers. Apparently that only applies within three miles of shore. Faster, please.