Gulf Oil Spill Slowing or Bigger than We Thought?

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Crews in the Gulf Coast are pointing to progress as they capture more oil from the leaking British Petroleum well near Louisiana.

The latest government estimate revealed about 630,000 gallons of oil a day are being contained. BP also released a high resolution video that shows the clearest pictures yet of the leak.

Congress held five separate hearings on the spill, Wednesday, but Gulf residents say there's too much talk and not enough action.

Thick globs of oil have washed ashore in Alabama and Florida and some beaches have been closed to swimmers for the first time since the spill.

President Obama announced his fourth trip to the region next week.

"We're looking at what's happening in the Gulf with deep concern and that's going to put more additional pressure on Congress to work with the states and the administration to help deal with this tragedy and this crisis," he said.

There is still concern that the impact of the spill may be underestimated. Scientists analyzing the flow said Tuesday that the amount of oil escaping the well could be considerable greater than what's being claimed.

"BP is claiming they're capturing the majority of the flow, which I think is going to be proven wrong in short order," crew member and Purdue University engineering professor Steve Wereley said. "Why don't they show the American public the before-and-after shots?"

BP also denied the leak created large underwater oil plumes, however, the government confirmed they exist.

"What we saw today was the absolute thickest and stickiest. This stuff just stuck to your hand like a mixture of clay and wax," diver and reef ecologist Scott Porter said. "There is no washing it off. You literally have to scrape the layers off first."

Divers worry what the plumes are doing to underwater life.

"I don't know of anything that would be able to live through that," Porter added. "Not once it's on them."

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CBN News
Mark Martin

Mark Martin

CBN News Reporter

Mark Martin is a reporter and anchor at CBN News, covering various issues from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East and traveled to Bahrain to cover stories on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkMartinCBN and "like" him at