Kevin Costner

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Call him Kevin Costner, prince of sieves.

Two days after the actor testified on Capitol Hill about a new technology's potential to separate oil from water, Gulf of Mexico pariah BP ordered 32 of the centrifugal separators that were developed in part thanks to $25 million from Costner.

"In a matter of weeks, we can be manufacturing 10 of these a week," John Houghtaling, Costner's chief partner in Ocean Therapy Solutions LLC, told Louisiana radio station WWL.  "So we're hoping by the first of August to have all 32 of these things in the Gulf."

They cost roughly $500,000 apiece to build, plus crews will have to be hired to haul them into the water, he said.

Houghtaling is also hoping that the U.S. government sees what these babies can do and employs them on a regular basis as a safety measure to keep drilling rigs in operation while massive overhauls are taking place.

Costner testified before the House Energy and Environment subcommittee yesterday that he and Houghtaling had tried to take their equipment out to the cleanup spots but that the Coast Guard prevented them from getting too close.

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