BP said today that it is now capturing 5,000 barrels a day of crude oil and 15 million cubic feet of natural gas from a leaking pipe at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. As (ex-Nation intern) Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson report in the Washington Post, this is the first official admission that earlier estimates of the amount of oil spilling into sea were too small.

Estimates of the the size of the spill have varied widely. BP originally estimated that 1,000 barrels a day were leaking into the sea, but days later the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration increased its estimate to 5,000 barrels a day based on measurements of the surface area and thickness of the spill. Some credible private experts have said that the actual figure could be five times the NOAA figure.

Watch a real-time live feed of the oil spill on the website for the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, chaired by Rep. Edward J. Markey and check out a Crude Awakening event this week

A project of the Energy Action Coalition, the Crude Awakening campaign is designed to wake the country up to the dangers of dirty fossil fuels, to stand with directly impacted people on the Gulf Coast, and to loudly demand a clean and safe economy based on green alternatives to fossil fuels. This one-month anniversary of the BP spill is a good occasion to get involved. Find an event near you at the Energy Action site.