No more oil is likely to leak into the polluted Gulf of Mexico, the government's pointman on the massive oil spill declared Wednesday as efforts to plug a blown-out well succeeded. A relieved President Barack Obama said the fight to stop the leak is "finally close to coming to an end."
At the White House, National Incident Commander Adm. Thad Allen said the effort to plug the leak was progressing, giving officials "high confidence" that there will soon be no more oil leaking into the environment. That upbeat assessment came as a government report released Wednesday said only about a quarter of the spilled oil remains in the Gulf. The rest has been contained, cleaned up or has otherwise disappeared.
Obama's team, however, was careful to emphasize that much work remains, from cleanup to damage assessment to help for hurting families.
Government officials defended the credibility of the report that says about 75 percent of the oil is gone. They said that description is based on direct measurements of the spill and estimates, and that the instruments they've used to capture the scope of the disaster have improved over time.
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