The executive in charge of fighting a Gulf of Mexico oil spill acknowledged today everyone is frustrated at BP’s failure to plug the ocean gusher more than a month into a disaster that is spreading damage in Louisiana’s wetlands, including miring pelican colonies.


The executive in charge of fighting a Gulf of Mexico oil spill acknowledged today everyone is frustrated at BP’s failure to plug the ocean gusher more than a month into a disaster that is spreading damage in Louisiana’s wetlands, including miring pelican colonies.
Doug Suttles, chief operating officer at BP PLC, went on all three U.S. network morning talk shows with the same message: BP knows frustration is growing it hasn’t been able to halt the spill of millions of gallons of oil from a well that blew out after a rig explosion April 20 off the Louisiana coast.
“We are doing everything we can, everything I know,” Suttles said on the NBC “Today” show.
The Obama administration questioned BP’s competence Sunday, when Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar told reporters he was “not completely” confident BP knows what it’s doing.
“If we find they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing, we’ll push them out of the way appropriately,” Salazar said.
Asked about criticism, Suttles said BP is working with experts from other oil companies and the government to find a solution.
“What I do know is, everyone is frustrated. I think the people of the region are frustrated. I know we are, I know the government is,” Suttles said on NBC. “The fact that it’s taken this long is painful to everybody.”
Suttles said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” BP’s next shot at plugging the well this week stands a very good chance of success. But he said the global oil company has more plans in case the latest efforts fails, like several before it.
BP plans to use heavy mud and cement to stop the breach, a maneuver called a top kill. Suttles said on the CBS “Early Show” the effort should start Wednesday morning and they’ll know the same day if it works.
The White House said Sunday the Justice Department has been gathering information about the oil spill. Press secretary Robert Gibbs didn’t say whether the department has opened a criminal investigation. He would only tell CBS’ “Face the Nation” that department representatives have been to the Gulf as part of the response to the oil leak.
Salazar and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano were to lead a Senate delegation to the region Monday to fly over affected areas.
BP said Monday its costs for responding to the spill had grown to about $760 million, including containment efforts, drilling a relief well to stop the leak permanently, grants to Gulf states for their response costs and paying damage claims. BP said it’s too early to calculate other potential costs and liabilities.
Even if BP’s top kill procedure works this week, the damage has been done.
On Sunday, some brown pelicans coated in oil couldn’t fly away on Barataria Bay of the Louisiana coast. All they could do was hobble. Their usually brown and white feathers were jet black, and eggs were glazed with rust-colored gunk.
When wildlife officials tried to rescue one of the pelicans, the birds became spooked. Officials weren’t sure whether they would try again, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Stacy Shelton said it is sometimes better to leave the animals alone than to disturb their colony.