By Mark Memmott
"It is indeed BP's responsibility to deal with this and we're dealing with it," BP Group Chief Executive Tony Hayward told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep just a short time ago, when asked about whether his company is going to bear the burden of both stopping the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico and paying for all the damage it causes.
"We will absolutely be paying for the clean-up operation. There's no doubt about that," Hayward also said. And, "where legitimate claims (of damages) are made, we will be good for them."
Hayward called his company's efforts to get some coastal residents to sign agreements limiting its responsibility for their losses "an early misstep" that was "eliminated very early in the process."
He also said BP has three major efforts underway to stop the flow of oil:. It is using submarines in a bid to get a "blowout preventer" at the wellhead to activate; it is preparing to place a containment system (a sort of dome) over the site of the leak, which would then channel the oil to the surface where it could be captured; and it is drilling a "relief" well nearby to draw oil from the area.
Here's the conversation Steve had with the oil company executive:
Earlier today, NPR's Greg Allen reported from New Orleans that "Louisiana fisherman -- now employed by BP -- are out anchoring floating vinyl booms to protect sensitive coastal areas. Rough weather hampered efforts to contain the growing spill over the weekend. Officials hope to lay more boom if the weather improves and, if possible, conduct more controlled burns of oil collected on the surface."
Meanwhile, here are some new headlines about the oil spill, which is coming from the site about 50 miles off the shore of Louisiana where a drilling rig caught fire and sank (leaving 11 workers missing and presumed dead) on April 20:
-- "Grim Outlook For Oil Spill; Fishing Ban In Effect." (NPR staff and wires).
-- "Gulf Oil Spill Has Our Full Attention, President Barack Obama Assures Louisiana." (The Times-Picayune)
-- "Urgency Increases As Oil Spill Grows." (USA TODAY)