Testing Begins on BP's New Cap for Oil Leak

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Testing on a new, tighter cap on the oil gusher on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico begins on Tuesday to see if the device can finally stop the leak.

British Petroleum engineers will begin the process to see if the new well cap can withstand pressure of up to 9000 pounds per square inch. If it works, the spill could be contained for the first time.

"What I hope to see is a test that is very robust," said former U.S. Coast Gaurd Adm. Thad Allen. "That potentially shows us that this containment cap can contain the pressure of the oil."

Experts say there are risks.

"The danger is you could over-pressurize the pipe and cause it to explode causing mini leaks along the pipe," said Dr. Michio Kaku, author of the book, 'Physics of the Impossible.'"

However, 85 days' worth of millions of gallons of oil in the water has led to frustration among commercial fishermen.

"Where am I gonna go?," asked fisherman Darrell Moreaux. "Who do I need to talk to? To pay my electric bill for this month. My water bill for this month. I'm gonna be two months behind now. It's disgusting."

New Federal Deep Drilling Ban

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has issued a new ban on deep water drilling -- even though a federal judge struck down an earlier measure as unconstitutional.

BP's new tighter-fitting cap has brought hope that an end to the crisis is finally in sight. But that hope was dampened for many people in the Gulf who say President Barack Obama's latest drilling ban is another blow to the region's economy.

The White House admits its new moratorium will hurt the area's economy, but believes safety is more important.

"First and foremost, the president has and continues to believe that we have to be careful with what we're doing," said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Federal courts have twice struck down the president's drilling ban, ruling it an over reaction to the spill. There has been no announcement yet on whether the latest drilling ban will also be challenged in court.

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CBN News
Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.