BP Makes Headway on Spill, Hearings Continue

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Some progress has been made in trying to stop the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

The news came as British Petroleum's president and the U.S. secretary of homeland security get ready to take the hot seat before Congress on Monday regarding their role in the oil spill.

Success at Last

More than three weeks after the leak began, BP crews have finally been able to contain some of the oil gushing into the Gulf.

"I'm happy to say: so far, it's working extremely well," said Kent Well, BP's senior vice president for exploration and production.

Engineers used robots to place a tube into a 21-inch pipe nearly a mile below the sea.

According to BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles, the tube has been collecting more than one-fifth - 42,000 gallons - of the oil that's spilling in the Gulf's waters.

Amid that progress, some bad news came as well. Scientists have discovered that a massive amount of the oil spill remains deep underwater.

"This oil, as you can see, has depth," University of Southern Mississippi's Prof. Vernon Asper explained. "It's not only the size of Manhattan in area, but it is several hundred meters in depth."

All of that leaked oil continues to kill sea life, along with the commercial fishing and tourism industries from Louisiana to Florida.

WH Officials Face Congressional Grilling

In the meantime, Congress is turning its attention to the Interior Department, the federal agency charged with overseeing offshore drilling.

Lawmakers were also weighing the spill's impact on future policy.

"You look at a climate change bill, it's going to be harder to get one done given the oil spill, given that drilling off the coast was part of the compromise," Sen. Charles Schumer, D- N.Y.

"As horrible as this is, it's important to remember that we get 30 percent of our oil from the Gulf," House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. said. "And if you shut that down, you'd have $14 gasoline."

Meanwhile, researchers say the oil may have entered a major current that could carry it through the Florida Keys and around to the East Coast.

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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.