Is U.S. interior secretary confident BP knows what it's doing? 'No, not completely'

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by Tiffany Craig / KHOU.com

kens5.com

Posted on May 24, 2010 at 8:05 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 25 at 6:37 AM

HOUSTON -- U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar unleashed on oil giant BP after a visit to the command center in West Houston on Sunday.

"Since the incident began, I promised that we would keep our boot on BP’s neck, and for the past few weeks, we have absolutely been doing that," Salazar said.

Salazar said 33 days after the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, he has visited BP four times and is keeping tabs on the company's every move.

"I have been here since 6 o'clock this morning, making sure that BP is doing everything that is human and technologically possible to take care of the BP spill that it has created in the Gulf of Mexico," Salazar said.

Salazar said BP has missed deadlines and admits that he’s not sure BP can clean up its mess.

"They are throwing everything that they can at the problem," Salazar said. "Do I have confidence that they know exactly what they’re doing? No, not completely."

That is why a group he calls the All Stars are leading an Apollo-type effort in Houston. The group is made up of top scientists and experts from around the country, like Dr. Marcia McNutt of the U.S. Geological Survey.

"We want to stop polluting the ocean and we want to kill this well," McNutt said. "We are all on the same page on that."

The next plan to stop the leaking oil is through a process called "Top Kill." BP Officials have said they will start the new plan on Wednesday, which involves shooting a thick liquid into the oil leak, plugging it with cement.

"There are still possible complications between now and the middle of the week when they hope to start pumping the dynamic kill," McNutt said. "So don’t think we’re out of the woods yet."

Salazar ended his Houston visit with a promise that the government would step in if BP can’t get the job done.

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