Moving to take advantage of a break in storms caused by Hurricane Alex, Coast Guard Commander Thad Allen announced today that tomorrow BP will try to replace the leaky containment cap over the broken oil well and replace it with a cap that could contain almost all of the gushing oil. If it works, they'll have done it in less than three months! "I use the word 'contained,' " Allen told reporters " 'Stop' is when we put the plug in down below."

An extra ship will be on hand to help collect the extra 60,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil leaking into the Gulf on a daily basis, but it will take three to four days to install the new firm cap, and in the meantime, oil will flood into the Gulf unimpeded. Meanwhile, the relief-well drill could penetrate the leaking borehole in seven to 10 days, and then it will be at least another 10 days before engineers can fully plug the leak with concrete. "In a perfect world with no interruptions, it's possible to be ready to stop the well between July 20 and July 27," BP's managing director Bob Dudley said, but added that this "perfect world" is free from hurricanes. In another "perfect world," corrupt bureaucrats don't allow oil companies like BP to regulate themselves into an environmental catastrophe.