Video: BP seeks to resume drilling

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    >>> u.s. officials deny reports of a deal to allow bp to resume drilling at its existing wells in the gulf of mexico in exchange for tougher safety rules. reports of bp 's petition come less than a year after the worst oil spill in u.s. history . but with the obama administration under pressure to cut foreign oil , the call to drill, baby, drill is rising once again. vern, it's good to have you with us. word that bp could resume drilling by july but a year later. do we know the impact of the spill on the gulf ecosystem yet, the wildlife? what are you seeing there?

    >> well, we certainly don't know every impact. that's clear. there is still oil coming up on the beaches. we know there's still some oil in the sea floor in the really deep water . so -- and there are more questions than answers at this point, and we're standing by waiting for the additional funding to come through so the scientists can get back to work and we can get out there and iron out some of these nagging questions.

    >> when we talk about so many questions that still exist out there, how confident are you that new safety regulations that could go into effect could safeguard the waters against other disaster like this one happening?

    >> well, i think it's sort of like when you have an airline crash . you go to the airline, you go to the manufacturer of the aircraft, and you figure out what happened, and then you put regulations in place to prevent it from happening again and you ensure the public is protected. i think that's happening in this case. we're doing the very best job we can on the blowout preventer to make sure that part of it never happens again. they're also looking at the regulations regarding the drilling process and the capping off process to make sure that doesn't happen. i think as long as we are so dependent on oil for our day-to-day lives, we've just got to do what we have to do.

    >> you were the first to report the presence of these deep plumes of oil. what are you finding now in the depth of the gulf? is that oil still out there where it can't be seen?

    >> it appears that quite a bit of it actually is. some of it is in the really deep water , and the questions there are just numerous because we don't know how much is down there. we don't know what form it's in. we don't know what it's doing to the animals. we don't nope what the long-term impact is and on and on. these are request he is that remain to be answered. there's also some in shallow water . every time there's a storm event that blows up the water is a little bit, we get oil on the beach. some of it are tar balls which are kind of innocuous. but we're also finding accumulations of this gooey stuff that if you stick your fingers under it it will run down through your fingers. it's fairly liquid. the question is where is that stuff coming from and what is becoming of it before it gets to the beaches. there's a lot we don't know.

    >> thank you for your time. processor vernon asper from the university of southern mississippi .

    >> thank you.

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