I hope you're having a good Independence Day weekend. No rest for the weary in the Gulf of Mexico of course, but just might be something to celebrate. BP's new executive in charge of the oil response says the relief well, meant to cap the oil leak, could be finished sometime this month, ahead of schedule. That declaration included a lot of "ifs" about the weather cooperating and other variables. Given their track record, it's understandable that up until now BP has been trying to under-promise progress, predicting they'd finish the relief well in August. NBC's correspondent Thanh Truong has been out with the Coast Guard today and will have a better read for us on where things stand on our broadcast tonight. Kerry Sanders is also going to give us some insight into how those undersea robots tending to the well are actually operated. It's delicate work, especially given they're operating 5,000 feet under the surface and their operators are in Houston.
As many of us find time to celebrate and enjoy some time off this holiday let's remember all the hard working folks on beaches, ships, and seaborne platforms who will be pushing straight through the weekend trying to stop and contain the damage from this horrible scourge.
In the meantime we'll look for you tonight for NBC Nightly News.