In an interview with Studio B anchor Shepard Smith, Senior White House Advisor David Axelrod says while the administration is satisfied with British Petroleum's efforts to stop the oil spill in the Gulf, the United States is still conducting its own investigation into the amount of oil that has been constantly streaming into the waters off Louisiana and Mississippi since the April 20th oil rig explosion. Axelrod says the massive amount of data collected will be released later this week and may answer the question of just how much oil is spewing into the Gulf. Estimates, based on satellite imaging as well as underwater video, range from over 200,000 gallons a day to four million gallons daily.
Axelrod says unlike BP, the U.S. has no hidden agenda. "No one has a greater interest in solving this then they do," President Obama's senior advisor told Smith in an interview on Monday. "There may be some differences about measuring the flow of oil into the Gulf because that affects their liability and that is why we're doing that independently."
According to a paper statement released by the White House, President Obama assured the four Gulf Coast governors affected by the spill during their daily briefing call, "that the federal government is bringing the best science and expertise to the table" and of his administration's sense of urgently dealing with the spill.
BP admits they are also frustrated about the pace of progress and in a statement released Monday says the company is "determined to communicate clearly everything we are doing and the reasons for our actions, and to provide as much information as we can to both the government and the American public as we go about our work." But Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who is down in the Gulf region touring the disaster area, says "BP no longer stands for British Petroleum. It stands for "Beyond Patience."
Some critics say the Obama administration has been slow to respond to the Gulf spill. Former Alaska Governor and 2008 Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin appearing on Fox News Sunday questioned why President Obama was "taking so doggone long to get in there, to dive in there, and grasp the complexity and the potential tragedy that we are seeing here in the Gulf of Mexico." During Monday's briefing, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs responded to the accusations saying the Coast Guard and federal government have been on the scene since the April 20th incident. "I think there is a lack of information if you believe somehow that that response didn't begin at the very point of this accident," Gibbs told reporters in Monday's briefing.