Feds to Conduct Probe of Gulf Coast Oil Spill

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Federal authorities have opened criminal and civil investigations into America's worst oil spill, as possibility of a solution to the leak continued to dim Tuesday.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced the probe during his visit to the Gulf Coast, but did not say specifically who would be targeted.

"We will closely examine the actions of those involved in the spill," he said in New Orleans, La. "If we find evidence of illegal behavior, we will be extremely forceful in our response."

Also Tuesday, British Petroleum launched another attempt to stop the gushing oil by slicing through a broken pipeline on the ocean floor.

Engineers hope to fit a cap over the cut and pump the gushing oil up to waiting ships. As with the failed "top kill" remedy, it will be days before BP knows if the new strategy is working.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama held his first meeting with an independent commission investigating the spill. Obama gave the commission six months to report back with options on how the U.S. can prevent future offshore drilling disasters.

"We owe all those who have been harmed as well as future generations a full and vigorous accounting to what has become the biggest oil spill in U.S. history," he said. "Only then can we be assured that deepwater drilling can take place safely."

Over the weekend, BP came under fire for denying the existence of a giant new plume of oil, floating beneath the surface.

"BP really stands for 'Blind to Plumes,'" said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Ma. "They deny what independent scientists have documented to be real."

Hurricane season has officially started and there is greater concern along the Gulf Coast this year, because of the oil spill.

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