James Cameron: US shouldn’t be relying on BP’s underwater intel

By David Edwards
Monday, June 7, 2010 14:00 EDT
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James Cameron offered to help BP find a solution to their leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico but the company turned him down. Now the Academy Award-winning director is taking his suggestions directly to the media.

“You had a brainstorming session that I understand lasted more than ten hours. Did you come up with concrete ideas in terms of things that can be done right now that can make this situation not worse, but better?” NBC’s Matt Lauer asked Cameron Monday.

“We looked at it in sort of three stages. What can we do right now to either slow down or stop the flow of oil and to capture what’s escaping? Those were the first two. The third section was what can this group do in terms of having ongoing value in studying the environmental impact to the underwater community and in possibly forming the basis of the framework for a national rapid response team, which we don’t seem to have,” Cameron explained. “We think, you know, we need to have a permanent group that can come in on day one of a crisis and assist.”

“Does the government want to rely on BP or another oil company for all of its intel coming out of the site or do they want their own independent capability to go in and see what’s happening? We have that ability, submersibles, ROVs, all kinds of vehicles that could get down there. Why doesn’t the federal government have that independent capability aside from the oil company?” wondered Cameron.

Cameron offered one idea for plugging the well. “Our group’s recommendation is to go back to the ‘top kill’ type of process where you get heavy oil drilling mud down the well, build up some hydrostatic pressure. And the way we think you do this is you throttle the well at the surface, you create enough back pressure, which they didn’t have before,” said Cameron.

The Avatar director told Lauer that he was taken out of context when he reportedly called the people in charge of the spill “morons.” The New York Post suggested Cameron was calling the Obama administration morons.

He didn’t say who in particular — BP executives or Obama-administration officials — he was calling “morons” in a speech Wednesday at the All Things Digital conference in Palos Verdes, Calif.

“I was talking about the BP people, who were out at the scene, trying to control the leak. What I was doing — it’s a classic out-of-context kind of quote,” said Cameron.

This video is from NBC’s Today Show, broadcast June 7, 2010.

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David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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