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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Earlier this month, BP boldly predicted the oil gushing from the bottom of the sea would be reduced to a "relative trickle" within days, and President Barack Obama told the nation last week that as much as 90 percent would soon be captured. But those goals seemed wildly optimistic Thursday after yet another setback a mile underwater.
A deep-sea robot bumped into the cap collecting oil from the well, forcing a temporary halt Wednesday to the company's best effort yet to contain the leak. The cap was back in place Thursday, but frustration and skepticism were running high along the Gulf Coast.
BP's pronouncements have "absolutely no credibility," Jefferson Parish Councilman John Young said. The latest problem shows "they really are not up to the task and we have more bad news than we have good news."
Even before the latest setback, the government's worst-case estimates suggested the cap and other equipment were capturing less than half of the oil leaking from the sea floor. And in recent days, the "spillcam" video continued to show gas and oil billowing from the blown-out well.
BP officials said they sympathized, and laid out in new detail the company's plans to have additional ships in place that can capture even more oil.
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