New cap is collecting some of the oil leakage, while tar balls wash ashore in the Panhandle

The cap has different colored hoses loosely attached to it to help combat the near-freezing temperatures and icylike crystals that could clog it. The device started pumping oil and gas to a tanker on the surface overnight, but it wasn't clear how much.

"Progress is being made, but we need to caution against over-optimism," said Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the government's point man for the disaster.

He said a very rough estimate of current collection would be about 42,000 gallons a day, though he stressed the information was anecdotal.

Florida shores have now been encroached by after effects of this spill with tar balls washing ashore in the Panhandle, first spotted yesterday and steadily increasing in number.

As for the actual amount of oil that has spewed into our waters, MNN states:

Meanwhile, newly disclosed internal Coast Guard documents from the day after the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig indicated that U.S. officials were warning of a leak of 336,000 gallons per day of crude from the well in the event of a complete blowout.

The volume turned out to be much closer to that figure than the 42,000 gallons per day that BP first estimated. Weeks later it was revised to 210,000 gallons. Now, an estimated 500,000 to 1 million gallons of crude is believed to be leaking daily.

And, like Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin is now putting blame on environmentalists for this disaster. Whatever.

Read the rest of the article here.

Though BP attached a new cap over the Deepwater Horizon leak late Thursday, crude oil still flows into the water through several open vents on the inverted funnel-like device. Engineers are now steadily working on closing up those leaking vents.

Mother Nature Network reports:

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