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June 8th, 2010
12:45 PM ET

Where to submit your ideas for the oil crisis

Have a great idea to help stop the oil leak, or clean up the Gulf?  You can submit it to, the official site of Unified Command.  Or contact BP, which says it is piecing through the many suggestions people send in.

The EPA has information guiding you through how to submit a technology solution., which highlights federal business opportunities, has this site about the Deepwater Horizon response.

Here at CNN, we have our own page inviting your ideas:  Send us your videos, photos, ideas - and you just might see yourself on air.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • Josh Levs • Kyra Phillips • Tony Harris
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Dan Sinay

    What BP needs to do is take a ten foot long solid lead rod (4" in diameter) and link 2 high streingth rubber test balls or deflated pipe plugs to it, one on the leading end and one on the trailing end, have a high streingth air hose attached to each pipe plug and drop the assenbly down the hole about 50 ft and then open the valve on the air compressor and both plugs will inflate instintly and seal the pipe, then they can pour heavy concrete in the pipe for a solid 50 ft, bingo fixed forever

    June 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  2. Ray Thompson

    Hi CNN,

    I had a thought of a way BP may be able to plug the oil pipe in the Gulf of Mexico. I was thinking of multiple air bags (5) or more, wrapped around a pointed shaft with cleats on the outer edge of the air bags. The cleats should be in an upward pocision to help the air bags bite into the inside of the pipe. The pressure of the oil below would help the cleats dig deep into the wall of the pipe, this could be lowered into the pipe that’s leaking the oil. The air bags could be set off one at a time from the bottom up, very fast. When the oil has slowed down enough they could pump concrete into the top of the pipe, on top of the air bags, and hopefully stop the leak.

    Just my two cents,

    June 8, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  3. vance slater

    BP Island,,Bury the oil in man made island. look at what Dubai did to make man made island. Stop the leak with tons of sand and rocks.

    June 8, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  4. James Chastain

    Ok...I will admit that I don't know much about the logistics of the BP oil problem but..... Could they not use something similar to a plumbers water snake to plug the pipe?? Of course it would be on a much larger scale than most plumbers use, and the outer covering would need to have a sandpaper/rough surface, but why wouldn't this work?. It could be inserted into the hole by remote control and expanded with high volume water. This would make the snake expand and seal the pipe from the inside. It's not a permanant solution but would stop 99% of the oil until the relief wells are complete.

    June 8, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  5. Peter Spriggs

    A couple of ideas:
    1) freeze the pipe super cold or insert something in it super cold to thicken the oil so thick that it turns into a soild!

    2) drill into the pipe from an angle from the sea bottom to several hundred feet down. Use a much smaller pipe, but once successfully done then start accepting oil above from that pipe. Repeat this process as many times as can be safely done without weakening the main pipe too much. Once several are inserted and draining off oil, the pressure in the main pipe will be reduced, perhaps enough to permanetly seal it more easily.

    If either of these sound feasable I will gladly submit drawings.

    June 8, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  6. gary

    The problem that i See is that bp has the technology to plug the well.
    (They just do not want too.) they want the oil, why have one well when you can have 3 wells in record time. Just a thought. BP sould NOT get any of the money from the wells. My opinion of course.


    June 8, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  7. Dave Mc Govern

    Hi, all! I watch CNN everyday for many hours so I know most of you all, and follow most of you all in twitter!

    First I have 2 fixes for the Gulf oil gushing problem.

    1) Dawn liquid soap is working for the Birds etc.
    it may be Very useful to clean the marsh grasses too! You would have to find out, what amount to use to not be harmful to the marsh grasses. Then low, pressure wash them down with the Dawn liquid soap mix. After oil is cleaned up with hay bails, and new bails replaced every few days, the marsh's will have a chance of recovering.

    But the ones in about a half a foot will have to be removed and are mostly too full of oil anyways! So once all oil scum is cleaned up around the marsh's, then take out the bad oil fill grasses about a half a foot into the grasses.

    My #2 fix is to better make the New top cap, work way better! I have drawn it up how to do so and have put it into my computer! Please send me an email, as soon as possible so I can email the drawing out to CNN or BP.

    The reason the Top cap is not working the right way is, you can't stop a gushing problem by just sticking something over the top of it. Impossible! Too much pressure is gushing out, it has to be a much better way to seal it from leaking. By working with the pressure source is the Only way the leak is going to be able to be stopped.

    So please email me to where I can send my Idea and drawing to, so we can finally stop the Gusher.

    Thank you for your time, and I love the whole CNN crew! You all can follow me at

    Bye for now Dave Mc Govern.


    June 8, 2010 at 1:24 pm |

    The cap should be in two parts, like an interlocking male and female electrical plug. The bottom piece should be a tube with a thick gasket on the bottom to slide over the riser and rest against the flange and it's bolts underneath and held in place by spring loaded hooks or clips to hold fast to the flange. a turnbuckle type mechanism built into the hooks to ratchet the tube down to the flange to secure the gasket to the flange over the bolts. The top of the tube should be tooled to accept a retooled cap to twist tightly with the tube piece. Once coupled together BP should be able to control 100% of the oil flow up to and including shutting the well down.

    June 8, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  9. Carl

    Here is a story angle that merits some media and journal time; What if this oil spreads and expands to the shores of other countries? What then? Who is responsible for their damages? The U.S. or B.P. or both?

    June 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  10. Karen Ranger

    Please discuss with Chad Meyers the possibility that the oil spill and the many mine disasters could have been caused by the large number of recent major earthquakes around the globe.

    June 8, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
  11. Joseph Peil

    Dear Sir, I became very upset at some comments you made earlier today. BP may have some engineers working the problem (the best?)
    If they had any ability they would have the blow out preventer capped.
    I have over 40yrs of industry experience and cann't even get a call back. BP is controlling everything (and what appears to be yourself)
    I have been presenting a complete plan since the beginning of the desaster for 100% containment. That's all I have for you. As long as the ol is still flowing someone isn't doing their job.

    June 8, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
  12. Mark Parr

    Using straw to soak up oil from water is not a new idea or invention. It's been around for at least a decade. If you do a search on Google Scholar you will find dozens of scientific papers on the subject. As well as straw, they've also looked at using kapok, peat, cotton, silkworm husks and other materials for the adsorption of oil from water.

    June 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  13. eran pierce

    if we would dump saw dust and/or wood chips on the oil spill, it would aborb and clump, making it easier to control and gather

    June 8, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  14. Darron

    Where can I find a vidoe of the guy on your show today at 2:20pm est with the oil clean-up idea.

    June 8, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  15. David Thelen

    This idea builds upon another idea submitted by one of your viewers that include several inflatable tires on a pipe.
    Why not harness the power of this leaking oil with the use of a turbine? Why not use dentistry technologies to produce a pipe that matches the structure of the oil hole, minus these tires? Why not use a multiple system of pulleys and a spring like cable to give it more strength? Why not use a fishing rod concept that may simply wheel in the rope that hooks to various parts like the pipe with these inflatable tires?
    As for the oil leak inner-pipe, why not use dentistry technologies? This is where they simply take images by computer to find the perfect fit for your cap? Use these same computer image technologies, to find the perfect fit oil hole inner-pipe minus the tires.
    Why not harness the power of this leaking oil with the use of a turbine? Why not bring in two halves of a contraption in the shape of a hair dryer that included an inner turbine? Why not use a fishing rod concept that may simply wheel in the rope that hooks to various parts like the custom pipe with these tires?
    The two halves of this contraption would be hauled by perhaps 2 Navy unmanned subs/robots on either side of this leaking hole. This turbine could also have locking gears in it similar to a fishing rod. The 2 underwater robots would simply put together these two halves and bolt them together. If need be, the underwater robotics could hold in place this gigantic “fishing rod/hair dryer turbine” until the job is done.
    This blow dryer shaped inner turbine could be utilized for power by using turning force. This turning force could be used like a fishing rod. It has a pole and a series of a rope and pulleys. It uses the turning turbine within this contraption as power. The other end of rope with hooks would be attached to the pipe with inflatable tires. This way you simply use this fishing rod to reel in these items by way of the power of this gushing oil.
    As for the strength of this so-called “fishing line/rod”, there is a strong somewhat springs like cable. This cable is attached to a multiple system of pulleys in order to enhance the strength of this cable multiple times. The spring like cable will give the inner-pipe attached to the end of this cable a sling shot effect. Giving this inner-pipe more likelihood of plugging the hole with even more velocity. Part of this pulley system would have a few pulleys that are located below, on both sides of the leaking oil hole. This will enhance the goal of plugging the oil leak with this inner-pipe and inflatable tires.
    These are ideas to plug the oil hole that may work.

    June 8, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  16. c sparks

    My idea is to build a circular metal wall around the oil spill, (approx 50 ft across) reaching from the ocean floor to above wave level, to simply contain the spilling oil until a permanent solution can be found. The contained oil can be siphoned out by boats. 2 or more months of this spill will be detrimental.

    June 8, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  17. fred f agosta

    insert an infatable devise i.e. canvas/ rubber etc.into the pipe then seal the opening. then pump mud,to seal permanatly.

    June 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  18. Allen Bosch

    The use of a cap to contain flow from a jagged pipe end is obviously not a great idea. A plug in the form of an inflatable sphere or cylinder to be inserted prior to pressurization might work. an integral high pressure pump could be used to pressurize the plug with sea water. This plug when filled would conform with the inner wall of the pipe creating a seal. Once a seal is in effect the pipe end could be filled with cement.

    June 8, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  19. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Here's a couple of Ideas number one place bull horns our field blaster's on oil contaminated areas to scare off bird's from danger areas . [ 2 ] Make portable roost for birds with barges to lead them to suitable feeding areas just make them like there habitat .

    June 8, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  20. Mark Wassel

    I think they should make a new capture dome from a steel casting of a duplicate BOP, cut it in half vertically and then fit it with gaskets along the cut and long bolts that could be tightened once lowered over the busted BOP. The Robots could tighten the bolts until the casting fit over the failed BOP loke a glove. I think this would elimanate nealy all the leakage.


    June 8, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  21. eddy r gomes

    hi josh ,is the flange on the leakage removable and i need the diameter of that pipeline if you can get those informations i might have a splendid simple idea.thanks,eddy gomes aruba

    June 8, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  22. Jatin B Desai

    The flow out of liquid from any pipe is a function of the pressure difference between inside the pipe and outside pressure + the diameter of the pipe.

    The easiest way is to somehow reduce the diameter of the pipe.

    This can be very easily achieved by inserting a pipe in the mouth of the opening.

    A metal pipe or heavy rubber pipe (High density if flexibility is required) can be inserted and pushed in the well head. The length of pipe should be such that the vertical force created by the oil flow is overcome by the weight of the pipe. The pipe should have a chain on the top so that it can be stopped inside the riser at a desired depth.

    Additionally provisions can be made to have the inserted pipe capped once inside to further slow down the flow.

    Several configurations are possible – Pipe on top of the pipe inside the riser or pipe inside the pipe to allow some flow.

    Once done the current cap can be placed back to manage the slower flow.

    With the reduced flow even the mud dumped earlier can be done again. because the flow is reduced. it has a better chance to stay and allow cement sealing.

    Good luck

    Jatin B Desai

    June 8, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  23. Helen Bevel

    I propose that BP and all offshore oil wells be shut down and inspected by a citizen and government group for safeguards against this ever happening again. In addition the concentration in crude oil in America should be on oil reclamation from our Gulf and ocean. Let all energy be directed at harvesting the spilt oil first and foremost.

    Obviously the best solution for stopping the leak is to blow up the area. This is the simplest and easiest. IT needs to done and the rest of get to work cleaning up the spill.

    Everyone must get involved. This is a time when all hands are needed on deck. All minds need to be directed towards cleaning-up. Fishermen with boats need to be outfitted with newly developed equipment for extracting oil from water and purifying the water. A quick freeze method would be best. Also portable equipment should be made for individuals on land or platforms to do the same. The oil gathered could then be sold to local brokers for the highest price.

    This way those who are without a livelihood will be able to prosper during these times based on the amount of organization, ingenuity and labor they put into cleaning oil from our Gulf and currents.

    The crime has been committed, so the people need to see good faith that this was just an accident and not a terrorist plot to destroy our country, its waterways, our presidential image and the livelihood of millions of people.

    Let’s be diligent in cleaning up this oil before the hurricanes come. All hands on deck. ATTENTION.


    June 8, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  24. Stewart Grundy

    God help America if it ever gets a real disaster yes the leak is bad and yes oil covered birds is great fodder for CNN but get real it was an accident, not the first nor the last
    In the last War millions of tons of shipping loaded with oil was sunk thousands of sailors like those birds were covered in oil but there was know crying and whining like we see today. The World did not end the Sea lived.
    Wake up America or we may have to start calling you Home of the Wimps.
    p.s We were on holiday in New Orleans during Katrina we saw people stealing everything that was not nailed down even the Police were at it.
    So BP has every right to be cautious when it comes to genuine claims

    June 9, 2010 at 8:32 am |
  25. Nick

    At what point will the government realize that BP has no intention to stop the leak. The oil reserve is too large for them to plug it and walk away. The leak will not stop until the second well is completed and they can resume production of the well.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:13 am |
  26. Gregory Romeu

    To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:23 am |
  27. David Michael Bernstein

    Josh ~

    I want to thank you, Ali, Rick, Tony, TJ, Kyra, Fredricka, Don, and the rest of the gang at CNN for highlighting potential solutions re: the oil spill. I have submitted several ideas via some of the mechanisms you mention including the "suggestion box" at the Deepwater Horizon Response site. Whether or not that means of conveying an idea to 'the powers that be' is a 'black hole' remains to be seen but many people I'm in touch with have expressed concern that their ideas are not being considered—some even think it's a way of controlling the narrative and flow of information but that's a little too conspiracy theory for my taste. Regardless, I have a hard time believing that there was nothing really 'revolutionary' or 'new' among the 40,000 plus ideas submitted as Kent Well stated yesterday especially since this is the first time anything like this has ever happened in history—that attitude smacks of arrogance or something worse as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, how do you & Ali 'choose' an idea to showcase? Should we just post it or is there a more formal process that I can submit it to you directly or indirectly? And, for the record, not every idea has a video to go with the narrative—is there a way of submitting an idea to the "fix it" forum that's in written form—the proposal I submitted via the DWHR suggestion box was a MS Word .docx. Please advise. Again, thank you for what you're doing—it truly is a public service and you guys & gals are ALL doing an amazing job of keeping us all in the loop.
    David Michael Bernstein
    Gideon's Fleece™
    Environmental Engineering, Re-Engineering & Research

    June 9, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  28. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    This was no accident but instead careless and reckless leadership and when it's time to recover the B.O.P. it should be looked as evidence and collected by the government the moment it leaves the water .

    June 9, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  29. curtis

    would somebody explain to everyone that inside this b.o.p there is a string of drill pipe obstructing any type of entrance to the well bore. i have worked in the oil and natural gas drilling industry for 25 years, these people at bp are some pretty smart folks, i know its been 50 days but if any of these hair-brained schemes would have worked dont you think they would have tried one of them by now!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 9, 2010 at 9:36 am |
  30. tommy raddcliff

    everyone keeps saying they need to figure out how to determine how much oil is pouring out of the well head [BOP].
    shouldn't this answer be very clear?
    just how much oil/gas was BP pulling from the well daily BEFORE the rig exploded?
    shouldn't that be the same amount?
    if the pressure exceeds the amount they would pull prior to the collapse, isnt there a pressure reading from the well that could be applied to the amount of oil they were pulling before?
    there is pre=existing data. there shouldnt have to be all this new analysis. it simply seems like a stall tactic.

    PLEASE ask this question


    June 9, 2010 at 9:38 am |
  31. John M. Drummond

    The oil spill problem in suffering from a divergence of perspective - BP wants to capture as much oil as possible and Gulf Coast residents want to stop it altogether. BP has a vested economic interest in delaying tactics. Washington is dragging its feet in not demanding immediate stoppage.
    Any plumber can tell you that to plug a leak you have to apply more pressure from without than is being applied from within.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:47 am |
  32. Frank Weatherly

    A possible solution would be "wood chips". They are plentiful and swell or bloat when wet. Wood chips can be forced into the ruptured well with current technology to slow or stop the flow until a permanent solution can be put into place.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:48 am |
  33. Joe Shutts

    Build a funnel type tower large enough to surround the leaking pipe area with rods around the large end to anchor it into the floor of the area.
    Invert the funnel an put a coupling on the small end pointing up that would accomadate a hose or pipe to the surface. Run to a ship or just set it on fire and let it burn itself out.

    It would stop all of the pollution killing of the wildlife.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  34. Gene Lucas

    Unfortunately, freezing the oil in the pipe by cryogenic means, or just plugging the pipe at the surface, is not possible due to BP's use of substandard casing. The pressure would just blow it out at its weakest point, and then there's be no way to stop it.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  35. John

    Similar to Dan Sinay idea. I beleive that doing an inflatable with remote cameras to watch the progress will be more efficient and cost effective.
    I dont think BP wants to do that just for the simple fact that they want to make money from the oil that is available there and simply put they really dont care at what cost as long as they can harvest the oil for profit.
    I beleive that by blocking the pipes leading to the top where the oil can spill will save money and everything else that this has impacted. However if BP wants to harvest the oil they can then do so with other relief wells later on as the process for the bottom kill will soon accomplish this task anyway.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  36. James Woods

    Why has no one mentioned how many more of these "Faulty blow out prevention devices " are lurking under the surface of the thousands of offshore oil wells? Should they have been recalled? Should there be a fine? Congress should be happy, there is finally some other group with an approval rating lower than theirs.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  37. frankie

    1. When I see really good ideas that people have submitted for absorbent materials and devices for sopping up the oil, I think of the wetlands or marshlands. I don't see many stories about what is happening to clean the marshlands, which worries me and makes me wonder if anything is being done to clean the marshlands? 2. Today you are showing alot of BP ideas for quenching the oil leak that seem to have been borrowed from Rube Goldberg.......

    June 9, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  38. John

    @curtis: I hear you. And thanks for explaining about the drill pipe in the BOP. I assume that once BP et al. knew that they knew that these obstructions were limiting the flow of oil and that it would be safe-er to cut the riser.

    Hey Josh,

    The way I see it – the hi-res video is from the time after the riser pipe was cut fromthe BOP but before the LMRP was installed. The hi-res video is not real time. The riser pipe does show it is cut unevenly.

    The hi-res video shows two distinct streams of material of different colors. How is this possible? How are the two streams kept separate through the BOP and the bore hole to the oil resevoir? ? Or is one stream drilling mud and the other oil and gas?

    About hurricanes: the contingency plans show how the pipes and equipment will be kept safe – i.e. the ships will "go away" and one set of pipes will remain underwater. But there is no valve. The oil will keep gushing. And in the event of a hurricane – no ships will be available to capture the oil.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  39. Robert Pinkley

    There has been some conern about the jobs of oil rig workers during the moratorium/ban on drilling. Since BP says the only real way to stop a deep water oil leak is to have a relief well; why not require a relief well for each current and future deepwater well . This would keep workers gainfully employed and provide the safety measure needed to ensure this doesn't happen again. Once the releif well is in place the company could then continue to drill for oil.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:53 am |
  40. Jerry B. from North East, PA

    Ali the Alligator! That Was the BEST!

    June 9, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  41. Rick Cramer

    Ali, just caught your segment over lunch concerning the $2.0B+ dividend to shareholders and the Letter from Congress. You know plenty of shareholders count on those dividends for retirement and day to day living... While I understand concerns with any distribution and BP's ability to cover future liabilites; why don't we just require BP to escrow a like sum of funds to cover the the clean up and damage...till a value can be determined. At least we know they will thinking about their responsiblities as they make shareholder decisions. As a resident of Destin Florida, we are feeling the impact even though the oil has not yet arrived.... Who knows what is in store for us all.

    June 9, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
  42. Ron Millam

    I just heard Ale Velshi mention that if the $75 million liability cap is lifted, many small drilling companies would be unable to operate since one spill could result in bankruptcy.

    It seems to me that these small companies - maybe even ALL companies that want to drill offshore - could come together and form a "Disaster Partnership." If any one partner causes a spill, ALL partners would agree to pay a percentage of the clean-up.

    This would spread the liability over the entire industry, thereby protecting individual companies. And perhaps it would be an incentive for the industry to police itself (under close Federal supervision, of course).

    Ron Millam
    Clinton, Missouri

    June 9, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  43. Jay Price

    Everyone wants to know how much oil is going into the gulf.
    Why not ask what the well was producing before the rig exploded.
    Why this is not being asked, I just don't get it.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  44. Sergio

    What you should probably do to take out all the oil is make at least 2 long mechanical arms, so you can carry it out of the ocean and while you are bringing it back in you should put like an absorbent blanket so only the clean water can pass by and block the oil.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  45. Louis

    Why has neither BP or the government posted a $10 mil reward for the idea of how to stop this blow out?

    June 9, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  46. curtis

    @ john ... my idea is this, at that time they were pumping corexit chemical through the kill line, trying to keep as much oil off the surface as they possibly could. and when they put this half -a_ _ cap on top of the stack or b.o.p. to start receiving oil they turned it off. i think that is why you saw the two different colors, or if you'll notice that the lighter colored fluid is flowing at a higher rate possibly airated because of of the pinched cut at the top of the riser... just speculation on my part cause its to deep and dark to tell. i wish i still had my downhole goggles. i'm praying for these people cause this makes all oilfield folks look bad.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:11 pm |
  47. eldon cooper

    A suggestion for oil spill:Take low-flying aircraft loaded with absorbants, such as dried seaweed or hay, and spread an area ,immediately with barges on the water skimming up oil soaked material and hauling it away to a burn site for disposal.

    June 10, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  48. michael erickson

    I been following ALL the CNN news accounts on the oil spill in the Gulf...What I have not seen you air is the remains of the BP Oil platform that sank to the bottom...What effect will it have?...will they salvage it for signs of possible terrorist acts?...As far as I know NO ONE has filmed it or taken photos of what remains...Now here is a story CNN Please take a look into this it is akin to the sinking of the Titanic (sp) or will it just become more JUNK that has unknown problems for years and years to come?

    Michael Erickson
    Billings, MT

    June 10, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  49. Gord Holdaway

    Dear Tony and the American people,As a Canadian,I am deeply sorry for the Gulf oil spill. Not only has it ruined the lives of many people but has also destroyed the environment and many,many many species of animals.As far as I am concerned Tony Hayward and the rest of the BP ceo's should be in jail for life.Not only are they cowards but in my eyes pure criminals.These idiots are only concerned about money and profit.Maybe the best solution for Hayward and his counterparts is to take them 40 miles into the gulf and let them swim in their own mess.BP you sicken me!

    June 10, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  50. Brian

    A steel belted rubber bladder inserted into the gushing oil pipe...inflate the bladder to seal the pipe like a rubber cork.

    June 10, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  51. Donna

    Does BP even take these ideas seriously? It seems they dismiss them all...not much of an incentive. Why are we letting BP ge3t away with this? Theres all sorts of meetings and agendas and press conferences but it seems BP isnt or wont listen.,

    June 10, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  52. Ellen

    It seems to me that the response to the disaster is to adhere to normal procedures and policies, rather than to reasct as if we are at war, which we are. We are at war with oil in the gulf, as damaging as any other war to the environment, health, economy, peace and order.

    The gov. should commandeer factories to TRY new ideas as quickly as possible. How about producing a bunch of huge tanks that operate like hot air balloons...weigh the bottom so that it sinks and covers the pipe...a big balloon with a concrete or lead weight encircling the base. The base is around the pipe, the balloon fills with oil and when sufficiently filled with oil, floats to the surface. It can have a valve, like aortic flap valves, to prevent the oil from flowing back out.

    Another gadget that might work would operate like devices used to bust up placque in coronary arteries....feed the darn thing down into the well to where it joins the oil bed...blow up the balloon and plug the pipe.

    With people standing around crying about not being paid, it is sad and almost criminal that they aren't out working to keep booms in place, start capturing oil. The small booms washed up on shore could be kept in place in shallow waters by very simple methods...get a bunch of coffee cans, fill them with concrete to make anchors, get some rope and anchor the booms so that they stay in place.

    In beach areas, everyone could easily get a shovel and a bucket to clean up tar balls...have equipment available, have lifeguards or scout troops show how to do it, have a contest with prizes for kids who clean up the most. Keep the microphones away from all the hawkers cryin' about their beach economies so they can get to work and DO SOMETHING.

    June 10, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  53. mike walshe

    Josh; the fellow with the beeswax & micro organism process should demonstrate his process right in the marsh for Gov. Bobby Jyndal. If his process can eat up that mess the Governor will jump all over it and make it happen.

    June 10, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  54. Michael Morris

    I have given twice now BP the solution that has been used to plug pipes from when I worked at ARCO Chem, boating, racing and now I have learned that farmers also use it. It is what I call the false pipe fix.

    This CAN plug the leak until a final solution is inacted.

    June 10, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  55. gene bannigan

    gulf oil spill adds to gulf woes. you can easily 'vet' this other major environmental disaster in the Gulf there is a dead zone in the gulf about the size of new jersey potentially caused by fertilizers leaching downstream on the Miss river...will this 'deadzone' connect with the oil leak building on the gulf bottom to create a really huge calamity to all the fish and wildlife in the northern gulf...put this together to create a compelling story..i've been reading about the fertilizer dead zone for years. the story is right on the Internet. i watched a lot of news about the gulf but i have not seen or read a story connecting the two situations

    June 10, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  56. stanley gray

    Insert a smaller pipe with two expanding devices attached to it. One device is attached near the end and the other one is near the damage section of the pipe. Once expanded ,the device will adhere to the interior of the damage pipe, while allowing the oil to flow through the smaller pipe. The smaller pipe will expand several feet beyond the the damage section and is connected to two inline valves. Once expanded close the valve slowly. I've already submitted this idea to bp. I also designed a device that i think will work.

    June 10, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  57. Pierre Elliott

    It looks like BP has tubes coming off of the floor of the Gulf and if so I think I know how to plug the tubes. The pressure coming out of the tubes doesn't look too strong so they can use a heavy grade rubber balloon that can be lowered into each tube about 1 foot from each opening then inflate them to stop the leaks which will also allow them to cap each tube. It's almost like putting a stint in a vein except you are plugging it. The proper rubber is needed so it can expand in those cold temps that far down.

    June 10, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  58. Robert Rasmussen

    On the riser pipe to surface, are there variable speed booster pumps?

    This would allow them to control the flow to the surface and limit the amount of oil flowing into the water!

    June 10, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  59. Bill from Rotonda West FL

    No one appears to be asking one very important question when each of the methods to mitigate the oil spill is showcased on CNN.

    You need to ask if the method is scalable. No one saying that these methods don't work on bench scales. We can all see that they work at those scales. The question is if the method is scalable to thousands of square miles or hundreds of linear coastal miles. Is it reasonable to assume that vacuuming several thousand square miles water is even remotely possible? How many of these vacuum devices would you need to mitigate just the current flow, not to mention all the oil that is just sitting around. The same goes for Kevin Costners centrifuge. How many of these expensive devices would you need to make a dent in realistically mitigating the oil spill? God bless these people who use their own time and money to come up with solutions. But applying even high school math shows us that the task at hand may be impossible to accomplish. On the other hand we need to investigate all proposed mitigation methods if only to make the people feel like they are doing some good. As far as I can tell there is no real clearing house to iinvestigate all these methods – no one agency that can take ownership of this issue. While CNN is doing us a great service to showcase these methods, CNN may not be the agency that takes ownership of the issue.

    June 10, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  60. W.S.L.F


    The oil leaking into the Gulf would no be a problem if it was contained, right? Okay, here is a practical idea to contain “ALL” the oil escaping into the Ocean.
    Place a large floating boom all around the area (water zero) with mile deep fishnets with sheets sewed into them hooked form the surface to the bottom creating a giant tube around the oil spill. Than Ventura inject air into the blow out preventer, in essence creating a giant protein skimmer. (An apparatus used to separate and collect organics, proteins or oils from the water of a marine tank.) ALL the oil would form into a froth that could easily collected with skimmer boats.

    June 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
  61. Sea Save Inc.

    “GULF ARK”
    We need to save a sampling of the different sea life in the gulf preserving it for future generation’s oysters, crabs, shrimp, fish; corals, sea horses, etc. are all different in different locations. I.E. We can’t put Chesapeake Bay oysters in Gulf waters. Since the fishermen that have nothing to do right now could be out collecting the seeds of the Gulf of Mexico that make up the eco system. Saving them from extinction. For future repopulation. Killing all the life in the gulf would be terrible, but if we couldn’t bring it back that would be FOREVER. We could show them how to set up and hold sea life very cost effective and practical. In conjunction with Aquariums, fisherman, watermen, crabber, shrimpers, hobbyists, etc. we could SAVE the sea life BEFORE it’s too late. All we need is SOMEBODY to listen.

    June 10, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  62. curtis

    you cannot put anything down inside the b.o.p. the well bore has drill pipe inside of it. and another thing, we are not talking about kinking a garden hose folks. i think what everyone is missing is that if they cant make this well static ie... not flowing anymore. they cannot plug it for fear of the well becoming an underground blowout, which means that the oil and gas would come up the outside of the pipe that the b.o.p. is setting on, that scenario is way worse than what we've got now. the relief well is the permanent fix to this problem, nothing else will work until those other wells are drilled. its pretty safe to say that we are going to be talking about this problem for a lot longer, sorry but thats the truth.

    June 10, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  63. Clint

    Lower a cinderblock, or otherwise ceramic cylinder to surround the BOP. Above it, lower a crucible, capable of opening at it's base, filled with iron oxide and aluminum in a volume large enough to fill the cylinder with iron after a thermite reaction between the two substances. Ignite a thermite reaction in the crucible held over the open ceramic cylinder, opening the base of the crucible and filling the cylinder with molten iron. Entomb the BOP in iron, sealing off any and all opportunities for leaks.

    Durango, CO

    June 10, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  64. Rory

    I would like to know how big the oil pocket ( How Many Barrels in All) actually is in the Gulf of Mexico

    June 10, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  65. James Chastain

    I have a question...

    The video clearly shows a bolted pipe flange just below the cut end of the

    Why can't it be unbolted, and a closable valve set to the open position be
    bolted on the flange, then it would be a simple matter of slowly closing
    the valve to shut off the flow. I say "slowly" so the increase of pressure
    would not be a sudden shock to the BOP and possibly cause other leaks.
    I realize this is 5000' below the surface of the ocean and the water
    pressure is immense, ( a bit over a ton PSI by my calcuations) but this
    CAN be done via ROV's and the valve lowered from a ship on the surface.
    Come on BP!! Just do it!! Why are you dragging your feet?

    June 10, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
  66. David E. Shuffield

    Why haven't they tried pumping concrete with extra amounts of calcium to make it set up faster and seal the oil pipe off instead of all the expensive extras they have tried and it is still not contained yet?

    June 10, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
  67. frankbednar

    I have one question. Does the BOP have any leaks other than what is coming out of the top. If not, the solution is simple. On the top of the preventor is a Flanged connector. Take the bolts out, remove the pipe they sheared off and replace it with the same kind of valves they used in Kuwait on all of the wells that Saddam blew up, turn the valve off and BINGO, the oil flow {leak} STOPS! Plane and simple. It should be easy for the ROV's to accomplish. If BP says they cannot do it I will assume they are not as smart as they think they are. If you want to see what I am talking about, watch the movie Hellfighters with John Wayne. It demonstrates how different oil fire fighters put out and cap oil wells.

    June 11, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  68. Kari Marshlain

    Is there an environmental issue with burning the oil? It is estimated millions of gallons of oil have been burned so far, that seems like it would pose a threat to the air quality...

    June 11, 2010 at 9:36 am |
  69. Justin Sanders

    Hi, I am a Sergeant in the United States Army and I have been trying to follow the oil spill crisis as best as I can. I have one question to the companies that have these "good ideas" to clean up the oceans and help contain the sludge on the surface. Why wait for BP to pay you before you start using your idea? It might be their fault that this has occurred, but that does not mean it's only their responsibility. I do not know why we can not start using all ideas to clean up the oil. Let us, society, create a solution to this problem and start the clean up now and not wait for reimbursements.

    June 11, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  70. Sid Lentz

    First off I agree that the powers that be do not want the leak to be stopped. If the leak is stopped then the relief wells do not have to be completed and BP would have to abandon the oil losing profits. They could easily use a large barge fill it with concrete and as it sinks guide it over the well head using cables to fight the ocean flow. Continue filling the barge to the point where it sinks over the well head crushing/driving the apparatus into the sea bed.

    June 11, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
  71. Ryan

    If we cannot plug it. Why don't we concentrate more on collecting it to start. Decreasing the polution and buying us time for THE permanent solution.

    That same funnel we use to pour oil into our engines. Now think UPSIDE DOWN FUNNEL, greatly increased in size...then attached to their hose that's been bringing their black gold to their ships already.

    There are many talented metal fabricators and engineers that, in my opinion, could quickly implement this.

    June 11, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  72. Cheryl Oster

    I understand that the biggest problems are both the lack of light and the intense pressures at this depth. Combine these problems with the pressure of the oil leak (about 2,000 pounds per square inch) and it makes for a scientific and engineering nightmare. To successfully plug the leak, they would need a canon that would shoot with greater pressure than the leak. Someone would need to design a tampon-like bullet impregnated with polymers that would thicken the oil on contact. The "tampon" would also need to be designed to expand upon contact with the oil. Additionally, It could take hundreds ot these
    " tampon-bullets" to be shot repeatedly into the pipe, at lightning speed, to have any effect. If someone could design something like this, I believe it would be more cost-effective, kinder to the environment and quicker than any of the attempts made thus far.

    June 11, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
  73. don

    thanks to Curtis, people now will know that there is an obstruction or drill string in the well and Why did B.P not let everyone know this from the start of this mess, then people would know what is down there, and people could try and figure out other ways to stop the leak.

    June 12, 2010 at 9:42 am |
  74. don

    what size of pipe is the drill string inside the well bore, what size is the well bore does anyone know this info

    June 12, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  75. L.A.'s Finest

    Not sure why I question this BP situation,but my intuition has questioned BPs intentions when they first started developing gas stations in kenosha the early 2K. My intuition also had me thinking@the time of BPs development,that had there been another act of terrorism"what would be the source of an attack that would affect all the US period"-"Our WATER supply".Yet,again,don't know why I thought this nearly 10 yrs.ago nor why I even passed it on jokinly w/family & friends as well.Now it makes me think,who created the BP,where did the finances come from,WHO was on that ship when it happened to our water supply-they knew what they were doing,they acted dumn & finally fessed up after the oil had spread many miles.Where's the investigation in this BIG PROBLEM-does A TIpacol citizan have to solve it before it's too late & too far gone leaving US ALL to suffer!!!!!!!!-L.A.

    June 12, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  76. PHil, georgia

    First of all, the Oil spill is especially B.p's fault because of their violations and greed which caused them to short-cut. With over 700 violations somebody needs their ass kicked! The President did the right thing by giving the business a chance to fail or succeed on its own without the government rushing right in to save them–"being too big". Once they go through their pre-plans of fixing the problem and can't do nothing,, then the goverment should get involved.
    Its ironic,, that the same "independent", pull yourself up by your bootsraps" "less government" talking republicans now are crying about how much the government is not doing and crying "poor owe B.P." They are sooo upside down on their values,, they will do anything to help business,, the supposedly strong. But put down individuals and families who need assistance to get over humps.
    Of course the President critics would say this is his Katrina. They have been saying everything is his Katrina and hoping for his failure since he took office.
    B.P. just needs to be held gravely accountable for this disaster especially for having no reliable back up plans. And if it means the end of their business so be it. You just can't kill lives and our earth without grave consequences.

    June 12, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  77. me

    I dont know how much room there is to put anything down the leaking oil well, but if there is, could they push two or more pipes (what ever size) down the inside of the oil well as far as possible, and inject some types of chemicals that would react with each other and cause a plug, to stop the oil leak?

    June 12, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  78. Ken Wessel

    BP said yesterday they do no have enough tankers available to store the oil currently being captured and will have to delay till July increasing oil recovery when more storage capacity is available.
    The US Navy currently has 14 oilers available – each with a capacity of 160,000 barrels of oil storage – or a total of 2,240,000 barrels of oil.
    Why in God's name can't the US Navy step up to the plate to help save the Gulf before it's too late.

    June 12, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  79. Pamela Wilson

    Why aren't companies like McDermott Int'l in New Orleans laying ocean pipeline on floor near spewing well head to collect oil? Can't someone fashion a flexible nipple or tube out of Kevlar or rubber or some other spaceage material to strap onto the well head and a normal ocean pipeline and get this oil into tanks on land or tankers at sea? Why hasn't anyone tried to "drink the milkshake" and then bill BP for the effort? Why are we waiting on BP to fix their own mistake?

    June 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  80. Wayne and Courtney Grayson

    Have you thought of doing this? What you guys need to do is get a pipe a little bit bigger in diameter than the pipe that is currently there and make it just as long if not longer than the pipe that was once there. Then you place it on top of the valve and put a container on top like what was there before and the oil would naturally flow up into container.

    June 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  81. Emily

    we could go down a far as we can and use robots to put a substance liqward that would build up and stop the spill , inthe mean time we can use boomers to stop the oil from coming up to new england i will post more ideas later

    June 12, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
  82. Elizebeth

    we have a problem even if we stop the oil spill now we will have over 60 years of clean up ok here is my idea we send remote control robots down to the spot about 2 miles away from the spill and ejected pressurer enjected grot that will build up and in a few weeks stop the spill . Then use boomer to stop the spread of oil. But to enject the oil we must drill a small hole andput in a ton of grot for it to stop the oil spill that might help that will keep the hole shut long enough to make a real long lasting two closing oil well hope this help will do more web seach to help later good luck BP

    June 12, 2010 at 9:08 pm |
  83. Bob Shelley

    Good Evening,
    I turn 69 next month and I was raised knowing about Red Adair and his ability to extinguish any oil well fire anywhere. That is why I am perplexed as to the absence of the Adair Crew in the Gulf of Mexico. I would have thought that either BP or the US Government would have been the first to ask for their assistance.
    While watching the live feed... at least what BP has decided to show... I was surprised to see BP cut off the "riser" since it was attached the upper half of a flange. I don't get it. Why didn't they cut the bolts and let the force of the escaping oil carry the upper flange w?riser away?
    This would have left a complete flange upon which a new "Christmas tree" could be installed. I have seen movies and videos of the Adair Crew doing this very thing. What I saw was a flanged valve being anchored to an existing well head flange by the use of a single bolt. This bolt was attached while the valve was rotated out of the flow of oil. Then, once the bolt was attached, the whole assemble was simply rotated over the existing flange (the valve was open of course) and then bolted down one bolt at a time while the oil continued to gush through the valve. Once the flange was seated properly, and torqued down, the valve was slowly shut.
    What little I know about pressure tells me that this is no big thing when you consider the oil isn't burning. Working deep in the ocean has been going on for over 40 years.
    What I am REALLY concerned about is the effect of all that oil being allowed to escape with no attempt to replace the pressure within the dome that is also being lost. Can you imagine the disaster we will all face if the ocean floor collapses. It will be impossible to control the flow of oil then... we'll be lucky if part of the Southern Seaboard doesn't recede.
    Maybe you can get the Adair Crew to hold a news conference and show a video of the replacement technique so that BP and USA will get off their asses and fix this mess. If we can't do it we're screwed... I have sent this suggestion to everyone I can think of and so far no one seems to interested or really concerned.
    Thank you for your time and attention.

    June 12, 2010 at 9:17 pm |
  84. stanley gray

    My idea for controlling the oil that come ashore. Install a floating barrier in a v-shape. The barrier will redirect the flow of the oil into man made shallow channel ,where the oil can collect and be pumped into tankers or into a holding area. This is good for protecting small area of beaches. It's impossible to protect the whole coast line.

    June 12, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
  85. linda's paul

    this is a revised and improved version of my earlier suggestion which was accepted by HORIZON RESPONSE CENTER. imagine an older design for a garden hose nozzle. the twist to control type. this is a modification of my original proposal which was to have the top hat in two pieces. one tube on the bottom to slide over the riser and secure to the flange by spring loaded hooks or clamps with a thick spongy gasket to mold over the flange and bolts to seal the connection. the hooks on the slide should be adjustable to tighten the bottom tube to the flange. the top hat should have a hose nozzle design with protruding rods or arms to be turned by rovers to open and close the flow. the top of the bottom sleeve and the bottom of the top hat should be tooled to fit and lock together. once the lower tube is placed over the riser and secured, the top hat should be lowered fully open to enable the connection to be made without resistance. once in place the rovers can turn the nozzle mechanism to slowly reduce the oil flow and eventually stop the oil. paul

    June 13, 2010 at 7:46 am |
  86. frannee

    Capture and contain surface oil using floating cylinder shaped vessels of varying sizes, 5-25 pound capacity. The vessels would allow water and oil in through the intake holes. Once inside the oil would attach to the filter that would replace the space the water consumed and become more buoyant as the water would be pushed out the intake holes. They would continue to float until retrieved when a new filter could be installed. They could be connected by rope for a controlled retrieval, simply dropped into areas where oil containment is necessary and/or used within boom lines. Would withstand all weather conditions and if not retrieved could eventually wash up on the shore with oil still fully contained within the vessel's filter. Inexpensive, non-polluting, lacking chemicals..
    Bottom line: Would you rather see ugly containers that could be retrieved or ruined shorelines?

    June 13, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  87. derek quetel

    u guys need a large heavy pipe that goes from narrow to wider than the pipe like ah warship gun with a workin blow preventer valve at the wide end in stall it like ah spike with the valve open weld the bottom then close the valve or ah huge magnet if u guy are even capable of that well thats my idea

    June 13, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  88. Helen Blackton

    HAIR! Human hair – which every hair salon and barbar shop in the country can supply, stuffed in old panty hose, will soak up the oil, and it wouldn't cost anything! The hair filled panty hose can be floated out in the water, next to those ugly yellow things, and slurp up the oil. Try it, it works.

    June 13, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  89. David E. Shuffield

    Put pipe over pipe to keep out salt water. Salt water corroids pipes. Pump concrete and calcium at the rate of two parts calcium to one part concrete will seal the well if all salt water is kept out and.Only! use fresh water to works with only.
    Only drill in fresh water!!

    June 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  90. Bonnie Herron

    I think if you encased thin wood shavings and vermiculite and pearlite
    (which is used in potting soil) in pantyhose or netting it would absorb the oil that is in the grasslands and marshes,

    June 13, 2010 at 7:46 pm |