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BP Undecided on Hitting Web Cam "Off" Switch

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 25 2010

Mother Jones' David Corn reports that Rep. Ed Markey is objecting to BP's decision to kill its live web cam at the moment it attempts to kill the leaking Deepwater Horizon well off the Gulf Coast. But BP is contending, on Twitter, that whether the Spill Cam will stay up and running is still an open question.

Markey (D-MA) has posted BP's feed of the leak on the official website for the House global warming committee he heads up, and the feed has proven popular enough to swamp the site beyond functional levels at times. Markey is not at all pleased that the company would opt to blackout the video stream during tomorrow's capping operation, upon which much hope rests. "It is outrageous," wrote Markey in a press release, "that BP would kill the video feed for the top kill. This BP blackout will obscure a vital moment in this disaster."

BP, for its part, has given notice that a final verdict hasn't been issued on whether the underwater video feed will stay operational tomorrow. "The matter of whether or not we can maintain a live feed during the 'top kill' procedure," wrote BP on the active Twitter feed that it has maintained during the leak situation, "is under review and a decision has not been made." Of course, both BP's statement this afternoon and Markey's initial protest only served to underscore how much the oil company is in the driver's seat when it comes to this disaster.

In an attempt to bring some pointed humor to what is an all-around miserable situation, a fake BP Twitter feed has sprung up, reports ABC News. You mean that's not the company tweeting this?: "Oh man, this whole time we've been trying to stop SEAWATER from gushing into our OIL. Stupid Terry was holding the diagram upside down." Stupid Terry! The fake tweeters though, ever helpful, are responding to people who actually seem to think that the company itself is behind all that snark. The @BPGlobalPR crew isn't above getting a slice of the action themselves, though -- pointing their confused Twitter correspondents to a site where you can go ahead and buy a "BP Cares" t-shirt that features oil dripping from the corporate logo.