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Video: BP waits to attempt ‘top kill’ to plug oil leak

  1. Transcript of: BP waits to attempt ‘top kill’ to plug oil leak

    MATT LAUER, co-host: But we want to begin this morning with BP 's latest attempt to plug that gusher of oil in the gulf. NBC 's chief environmental affairs correspondent, Anne Thompson , is there this morning. Anne , good morning to you.

    ANNE THOMPSON reporting: Good morning, Matt. As you said, diagnostic tests go on at this hour on the blowout preventer as BP readies for that top-kill procedure. This as the House Energy Committee releases new information showing there were three indications in the hour before the explosion of flow and pressure problems. And all of this just makes people here in Venice lose patience.

    Mr. BILLY NUNGESSER: Where in heck does it ever come from in the United States that corporate levels dictate to the government what they're going to do and not going to do.

    THOMPSON: People here are not holding back.

    Unidentified Man #1: Obviously, it -- obviously it...

    Unidentified Woman: You can't do it.

    Man #1: Let me finish.

    Woman: You really -- I mean, are you really serious that you cannot answer this question?

    THOMPSON: As more and more oil invades Louisiana 's wetlands and beaches, patience is in short supply. At Tuesday night's town hall, residents let BP and federal officials have it.

    Unidentified Man #2: We want the president, we want EPA , we want our federal agencies to step up.

    THOMPSON: One of the most contentious issues, BP 's continued use of the dispersant Corexit to break up the oil even after the federal government asked it to find something less toxic. New Orleans radio icon Garland Robinette fumed over promises he says Washington once again has not kept.

    Mr. GARLAND ROBINETTE: But we've got the proof of Katrina , and now we have the proof of this, that you're just jerking us around.

    THOMPSON: His callers are just as fed up.

    Unidentified Caller: If this would have happened along the East Coast , close to Washington, DC. ..

    Mr. ROBINETTE: We all know the answer to that.

    Caller: ...I wonder how they would have looked at this.

    THOMPSON: Still spewing oil, BP has been working on the so-called top-kill method. It is an untested technique a mile below the surface.

    Unidentified Man #3: They want to make sure that the pipe can withstand the pressure of the mud that's being put down it.

    THOMPSON: The explosion that started the spill killed 11 men. Five weeks after their deaths, the husbands, fathers, brothers and friends were remembered at a memorial service in Jackson , Mississippi .

    Offscreen Voice: And may Gordon , Blair , Stephen , Karl , Jason , Dale , Wyatt , Adam , Shane , Dewey and Donald rest in peace.

    THOMPSON: Today the focus will be out at the leak site and that attempt on the top-kill procedure. You will be able to continue to watch that live feed as they do not only the diagnostic procedures that are going on now, but also the top-kill technique. Matt :

    LAUER: All right, Anne Thompson in Louisiana for us this morning. Anne , thank you very much . Tony Hayward is the chief executive officer of BP . Mr. Hayward , good morning to you.

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