ON BARATARIA BAY, La.-- A containment cap over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill offers some hope amid oil-coated wildlife, idle fishermen and fouled beaches.
The Coast Guard says a quarter to a half of the gushing oil is being captured but engineers at BP PLC must attempt to close vents that were deliberately allowing streams of oil to escape to keep water out. When water and gas combined in an earlier containment box, it formed a frozen slush that foiled the system.
Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen says the goal is to gradually increase the amount of the oil being captured. He compares the process to stopping the flow of water from a garden hose with a finger.
Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and Allen met for more than an hour Saturday, agreeing to significantly increased protection for the state's coast. Alabama will get larger booms, beachfront barriers and skimmers.