The new estimate is 25,000 to 30,000 barrels of oil a day. That range, still preliminary, is far above the previous estimate of 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day.
With the estimated damages growing ever higher, this is disturbing:
Administration officials suggested that they had no immediate plans to directly block BP from paying the dividend, even as the White House and its allies made clear that they would pressure the company to ensure that it made paying spill-related claims its top financial priority.
If the debt of BP is now reflecting junk bond status, the government as a potential creditor needs to step in unless it is willing to do what Congressman Boehner and Tom Donohue (Chamber of Commerce) were recommending – have the taxpayers foot part of the bill for this mess.
On a related note - Mark Thoma offers some insights into the debate over regulation especially under a system of rules where companies such as BP might be shielded from much of the downside risks its activities create.
Update: BP stock price has gone up in the two days since the release of the news that the estimated amount of oil being leaked into the Gulf is much higher. So what other news would have offset what one would think to be really bad news? Have the chances that BP can keep its share of the costs from this disaster low gone up for some reason?