President Obama glowingly praised Energy Secretary Steven Chu today for, "actually deserving his Nobel prize" and curiously credited him with designing the final cap that eventually plugged the BP oil spill. "I sent Energy Secretary Chu down to BP offices and he designed the cap that worked, had BP build and construct it." Obama said praising Chu's abilities. But wasn't a 'mystery plumber' credited to have done the same thing back in July 2010? The Christian Science Monitor noted at the time that BP has received 300,000 ideas from around the world and it was nearly impossible to track down the source of the design. The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling noted in its official report that Secretary Chu briefed the President on the capping stack in late June or early July, but the report acknowledges that the cap solution had already been considered by BP early on in the fight to kill the leak. From the report:
The capping stack was essentially a smaller version of a BOP, similarly designed to stop the flow of oil and gas. BP had internally discussed installing a tightsealing cap within a week of the blowout. Following the top kill, however, BP and the government had shelved the idea of shutting in the well, in part because of concerns that the rupture disks in the well’s 16-inch casing had collapsed, potentially allowing oil to flow out of the well into the rock.
So who was the genius that designed the successful oil well cap? Maybe Secretary Chu was actually the 'mystery plumber.'