Apparently, according to historian, Douglas Brinkley there is a huge federal gulf recovery act being planned by the Obama administration and by Congress that would be on the scale of Tennessee Valley Authority.
This would include redirecting the Mississippi River down towards the gulf but wouldn't begin until after the well was fully capped and the relief well was drilled. h/t RLMiller
BRINKLEY: There are three things...going on. One is close that well...capture as much oil as you can, keep the pressure on BP on the relief wells. Second is immediate cleanup. And I think more can be done by the Obama administration...But I think the big third piece is coming, when President Obama comes to Florida and Alabama and Mississippi, and that is holding BP responsible for the Natural Resource Damage Act, for the Oil Spill Response Act. And, by that, I mean BP is going to end up paying somewhere from $10 billion to $15 billion, maybe even $20 billion, because they’re going — one of the only ways to save the Louisiana wetlands is going to be — you know, the Mississippi River has been channelized for navigation.
Well, now the Mississippi River has to be redirected. It’s going to have to be flooded and sediment pumped into these marshlands to save it. I think the Obama administration...
Brinkley later suggests that this is the reason that Obama is not talking to BP head Tony Hayward.
BRINKLEY: Yes. Yes. It’s one of the reasons why the president is not talking to Tony Hayward. And they are going to come out with a large Gulf recovery act, because the oil and gas industry has been dredging. We have disappearing barrier islands. For 40 years down there, it’s abused the wetlands.
This is a turning point. There is an appetite on Capitol Hill for Gulf recovery act. The Mississippi River is going to have to be redirected into the marshlands. And BP and Transocean and other, you know, operations, Cameron, other companies are going to have to pay up to $10 billion and $15 billion for breaking national acts.
This project appears very similar to what was discussed by Center for American Progress, whose founder John Podesta was the Obama transition Chief. CAP: Oil Reform Agenda
Here's the plan:
These efforts are an important start, but an oil reform agenda must make additional progress. It could include the following measures, many of which the administration has the authority to adopt or have already been already introduced as separate bills in Congress.
* Eliminate the liability limit for offshore oil disasters—current law caps oil spill liability at $75 million
* Require BP to put $5 billion—its first quarter 2010 profits—into an escrow fund to ensure prompt payments for clean up and compensation
* Adopt the recommendations for offshore oil well safety in the Interior Department’s "Increased Safety Measures for Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf" report, including better back-up systems and more complete inspections
* Implement fuel economy and alternatively fueled vehicle measures that will produce a 7 million barrel per day reduction in oil use by 2030 with interim reductions, and empower the president to implement these measures to reach that goal
* Significantly reduce oil use from vehicles by establishing 40 mile per gallon fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks by 2020, and establish the first fuel economy standards for trucks
* Power trucks and buses with natural gas by enacting the NAT GAS Act
* Power cars with electricity by enacting the Electric Vehicle Deployment Act
* Eliminate taxpayer subsides that benefit big oil companies
* Invoke the Trade Expansion Act to levy a fee on imported oil, and use revenue from this fee to invest in public transit, high-speed rail, and infrastructure for electric and natural gas vehicles
This is a good start and would help people in the gulf get a good start on their lives. The redirecting of the Mississippi River would be essential.
UPDATE: NYT is confirming a Scientist has proposed this exact strategy and it is being discussed at the "highest levels". This is a possible leak of the strategy. NYT: Scientist proposes unleashing Mississippi River on Gulf
UPDATE II: CNN @ 5:18 pacific is just now going to discuss this very issue. For those who want more information. Tune in.