It’s back to square one in the Gulf of Mexico, apparently: BP is once again preparing a cap to drop onto the leaking oil well, saying that it has fixed some of the problems that caused this measure to fail the first time it was tried. In preparation for the cap, engineers are using robots to try to cut off a 21-inch riser pipe from the well—a move some say risks increasing the oil flow by 20 percent. After that, it will take at least two days for BP to position the cap over the leak. Even if successful, the cap won’t stem the oil flow completely, and it’s unclear how much more oil the Gulf can handle: Scientists warn that the huge, underwater oil plumes—which BP has said there’s “no evidence” of—will endanger several species, especially because it is now spawning season for several fish and their eggs will not survive contact with the oil.
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