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Video: BP awaits test results to claim success

  1. Transcript of: BP awaits test results to claim success

    MATT LAUER, co-host: But let's begin this morning with new hope riding on that new and tighter cap that's now in place on that busted oil pipe in the gulf. NBC 's chief environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson is joining us this morning from Venice , Louisiana . She's got the latest. Anne , good morning to you.

    ANNE THOMPSON reporting: Good morning, Matt. This could be a pivotal day in the history of this oil spill . For the first time in 85 days, oil could temporarily stop flowing into the gulf as BP conducts a test to determine the condition of the well and how must -- how much more work has to be done in order to shut it down for good. Robotic arms attach the second part of the sealing cap and readied it for testing that should begin today. Slowly the valves on the new cap will be closed. As that happens, engineers will monitor the pressure at which the oil flows to determine the condition of the well.

    Mr. DOUG SUTTLES (COO, BP): If we see high pressures, it's a good sign. It actually means that the flow in the oil is fully contained in the existing well. If we see low pressures, then that would indicate that potentially oil is escaping out of the casing at some point.

    THOMPSON: And that means more problems. BP says the tests should take six to 48 hours.

    Unidentified Man: Sir, we're going to ask you to sit down, please.

    THOMPSON: In New Orleans , the emotions of 84 days of disaster erupted at the first public hearing of the oil spill presidential commission.

    Unidentified Man: BP and the government have been looking out for their own interests, not for the people, not for the planet.

    THOMPSON: The man in charge of the $20 billion claim fund promises to make the process simpler. But in Florida , Ken Feinberg said filers will still have to provide documentation for what they say they've lost.

    Mr. KEN FEINBERG (Federal BP Claims Administrator): I simply cannot cut checks without backup that demonstrates that they're entitled to get paid that amount.

    THOMPSON: Along the Gulf Coast , nerves are raw where the oil is and where it isn't. Even communities hundreds of miles from tar balls and patties, with beaches untouched by oil, are feeling the economic pain as tourists shun the region. In Panama City , first lady Michelle Obama urged Americans looking for a way to help to vacation in those areas.

    Ms. MICHELLE OBAMA: Truly, one of the best ways that fellow Americans can help is to come on down here and spend some money.

    THOMPSON: It's an area that needs economic support, but most of all it needs

    that oil to stop flowing. Matt: All right, Anne Thompson in Louisiana for us this morning. Anne , thank you very much . It's now four minutes after the hour. Here's Meredith.

    LAUER:

Photos: Month 4

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  1. The Blue Dolphin, left, and the HOS Centerline, the ships supplying the mud for the static kill operation on the Helix Q4000, are seen delivering mud through hoses at the site of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana, on Aug. 3, 2010. In the background is the Development Driller III, which is drilling the primary relief well. (Gerald Herbert / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Eddie Forsythe and Don Rorabough dump a box of blue crabs onto a sorting table at B.K. Seafood in Yscloskey, La., on Aug. 3, 2010. The crabs were caught by fisherman Garet Mones. Commercial and recreational fishing has resumed, with some restrictions in areas that were closed by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (Chuck Cook / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Sea turtle hatchlings that emerged from eggs gathered on the northern Gulf Coast of Florida are released at Playalinda Beach on the Canaveral National Seashore near Titusville, Fla., on Aug. 2, 2010. The sea turtles were born at a Kennedy Space Center incubation site, where thousands of eggs collected from Florida and Alabama beaches along the Gulf of Mexico have been sent. (Craig Rubadoux / Florida Today via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. A crab, covered with oil, walks along an oil absorbent boom near roso-cane reeds at the South Pass of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana on Aug. 1, 2010. BP is testing the well to see if it can withstand a "static kill" which would close the well permanently. (Pool / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A boat motors through a sunset oil sheen off East Grand Terre Island, where the Gulf of Mexico meets Barataria Bay on the La. coast, on the evening of July 31. (Gerald Herbert / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Oil approaches a line of barges and boom positioned to protect East Grand Terre Island, partially seen at top right, on July 31. (Gerald Herbert / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is seen near an unprotected island in the Gulf of Mexico near Timbalier Bay, off the coast of Louisiana on Wednesday, July 28. (Gerald Herbert / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Greenpeace activists stand outside a BP gas station in London, England, on July 27 after they put up a fence to cut off access. Several dozen BP stations in London were temporarily shut down to protest the Gulf spill. (Leon Neal / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. James Wilson sells T-shirts to those arriving in Grand Isle, La., for the music festival Island Aid 2010 on July 24. (Dave Martin / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Activists covered in food coloring made to look like oil protest BP's Gulf oil spill in Mexico City on July 22. The sign at far left reads in Spanish "Petroleum kills animals." (Alexandre Meneghini / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. People in Lafayette, La., wear "Keep Drilling" tee shirts at the "Rally for Economic Survival" opposing the federal ban on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, July 21. Supporters at the rally want President Obama to lift the moratorium immediately to protect Louisiana's jobs and economy. (Ann Heisenfelt / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. A flock of white ibis lift off from marsh grass on Dry Bread Island in St. Bernard Parish, La., July 21. Crews found about 130 dead birds and 15 live birds affected by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on July 19 in the eastern part of the parish behind the Chandeleur Islands. (Patrick Semansky / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the BP Oil Spill Victim Compensation Fund testifies during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on July 21 in Washington, D.C. The hearing was to examine the claim process for victims of the Gulf Coast oil spill. (Alex Wong / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. An American white pelican has its wings checked during a physical examination at Brookfield Zoo’s Animal Hospital by Michael Adkesson and Michael O’Neill on July 21. The bird, along with four other pelicans, was rescued from the Gulf Coast oil spill and will be placed on permanent exhibit at the zoo. (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Native people of the Gwich'in Nation form a human banner on the banks of the Porcupine River near Ft. Yukon, Alaska July 21, in regard to the BP oil spill with a message to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil development. The images include a Porcupine caribou antler and a threatened Yukon River Salmon. (Camila Roy / Spectral Q via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image:
    Gerald Herbert / AP
    Above: Slideshow (15) Oil spill disaster in the Gulf - Month 4
  2. Image: Economic And Environmental Impact Of Gulf Oil Spill Deepens
    Mario Tama / Getty Images
    Slideshow (64) Oil spill disaster in the Gulf - Month 3
  3. Image: Oil Spill In The Gulf
    Digitalglobe / Getty Images Contributor
    Slideshow (81) Oil spill disaster in the Gulf - Month 2
  4. Image: Dispersed oil caught in the wake of a transport boat floats on the Gulf of Mexico
    Hans Deryk / Reuters
    Slideshow (53) Oil spill disaster in the Gulf - Month 1
  5. Image:
    Gerald Herbert / AP
    Slideshow (10) Oil spill disaster in the Gulf - Rig explosion

Map: Gulf oil spill trajectory

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