ON BARATARIA BAY, La. (AP) — Oil companies have spent billions of dollars to drill deeper and farther out to sea, but relatively little money has gone into researching improved ways to respond to a deepsea spill like the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

Experts say the spill has exposed a failure by the industry and the federal government to commit enough resources to oil cleanup and response technology research.

Improvements have been incremental, and few new tools have been brought online since the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska 20 years. Critics say oil companies have no financial incentive to do so.


Le reported from Seattle.