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BP spill double previous estimates, say scientists

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BP spill double previous estimates, say scientists


US scientists say the amount of oil that has been gushing out of the ruptured Gulf of Mexico spill is more than double previous estimates. The US Geological Survey says as many as 40,000 barrels a day may have been leaking into the sea until recently.

BP has since managed to contain some of the leak with a capping device.

Barack Obama has hinted at tougher laws, saying those in place are not adequate.

“Our immediate task is to deal with a crisis that is affecting millions of people down in the Gulf,” said the President. “We can’t keep our eye off the importance of having an energy policy that meets the need of the next generation and ensure that the United States is the leader when it comes to energy policy.”

Obama is to meet BP’s chairman next Wednesday. The President has been keeping up the pressure, insisting that BP would pay all damages and cleanup costs from the spill.

The company says it has been capturing more than 15,000 barrels of oil a day from the leak.

Heavier concentrations of oil have been washing up along part of the US coastline. As well as devastating the fishing industry in Louisiana, it is now taking an increasing toll on sea birds and other wildlife.

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