White House ‘Muzzled Own Scientists Over Oil Spill Fears’

Oil Spill PicThe Independent reported on Oct. 8:

The White House was facing allegations yesterday that it had muzzled its own scientists in the early days and weeks of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill so that the public would be ignorant of the potential scale of the environmental disaster that was unfolding.

A paper written for the National Commission established by President Barack Obama to investigate what happened suggests that officials at the White House stood in the way of scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) when they were preparing to release details of a worst-case scenario for the blow-out including a top-end estimate of the rate of flow of oil into the sea.

In a second report also written for the Commission, investigators say that “for the first 10 days of the spill, it appears that a sense of over-optimism affected responders”.

As the spill worsened BP came under wide criticism for allegedly attempting to downplay the scale of the leak. The findings of the National Commission indicate that the government in Washington was playing a similar game.

In the days immediately after the explosion, both Washington and BP said they were assuming a leak rate of between 1,000 and 5,000 barrels a day. But in the weeks after the leak rate was revised upwards in several increments and by early August stood at 62,000 barrels a day.

The paper says that the “decision to withhold worst-case discharge figures” may have been made at a high level, suggesting that the President himself may have been involved.

Read more of the Independent’s report here.  The White House has denied the accusations, but keep in mind that Obama recieved more of BP’s campaign contributions than anyone else over the past 20 years.

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  • Hadrian999

    honestly that was the responsible thing to do,
    hiding real damage figures wouldn’t but not releasing worst case numbers before the true extent is known
    would be the way to go I think. I know we like our knee jerk reactions in this country but not feeding into hysteria
    is a reaction we should consider every now and then.

    • Word Eater

      I imagine mentioning the possible giant methane bubble that could escape the ocean floor, sinking ships, dropping planes out of the sky, and suffocating people before bursting into flames and searing half of North and South America might panic a few people.

    • Hang_Tony

      Yeah, I see what you mean, cuz then we could blame them for fear mongering… I think that the point is, we have NO trust in our corporate government, no matter what they say, we’re not going to believe them/be mad about whatever they say. Maybe they shouldn’t lie and shit all over us so much…

      • Hadrian999

        if we actually had a reasonable, responsible we wouldn’t know what to do lol

  • Hadrian999

    honestly that was the responsible thing to do,
    hiding real damage figures wouldn’t but not releasing worst case numbers before the true extent is known
    would be the way to go I think. I know we like our knee jerk reactions in this country but not feeding into hysteria
    is a reaction we should consider every now and then.

  • Word Eater

    I imagine mentioning the possible giant methane bubble that could escape the ocean floor, sinking ships, dropping planes out of the sky, and suffocating people before bursting into flames and searing half of North and South America might panic a few people.

  • Hang_Tony

    Yeah, I see what you mean, cuz then we could blame them for fear mongering… I think that the point is, we have NO trust in our corporate government, no matter what they say, we’re not going to believe them/be mad about whatever they say. Maybe they shouldn’t lie and shit all over us so much…

  • Hadrian999

    if we actually had a reasonable, responsible we wouldn’t know what to do lol

  • Chacesmith

    There was a non toxic Alternative to clean up the spill that has been successfully tested by BP after 10 months of spill damages. The Coast Guard sent a letter from headquarters stating to the FOSC to take action with OSE II, and the EPA, Lisa Jackson stopped the Coast Guard from allowing BP from implementing OSE II. In fact the EPA stopped the application of OSE II 11 times denying State Senators direct request for use of OSE II from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. La Department of environmental requested the use of OSE II as well, EPA’s Sam Coleman denied their request without reason. Governor Jindal tried to get OSE II demonstrated on the Chandelier Islands on May 6, 2010, and the EPA stopped the Governor as well. The EPA in fact stopped the use of OSE II 11 times, without a reason given. Had the EPA allowed Governor Jindal to allow the demonstration of OSE II on May 6, 2010, it is possible a significant portion of the environmental damages, including the shorelines and the seafood industry would have been spared. The toxicty test comparison between OSE II and corexit really cannot be compared since with corexit, the label states it can cause red blood cells to burst, kidney, and liver problems if a chemical suit and respirator are not worn. OSE II in contrast can be used to wash your hands and is non toxic. The BP Deep Horizon spill has proven that corexit only sinks oil and causes the same oil to be addressed a second time when it comes ashore as under water plumes, or tar balls, while OSE II has a substantiated end point of converting oil to CO2 and water. See Coast Guard letter below

    U. S. Department
    of Homeland Security
    United States
    Coast Guard

    Commanding Officer 1 Chelsea Street
    U. S. Coast Guard New London, CT 06320
    Research and Development Center Staff Symbol: Contracting Office
    Phone: (860) 271-2807

    July 10, 2010

    OSEI Corporation
    P.O. Box 515429
    Dallas, TX 75251

    Attn: Steven Pedigo, President/Owner

    DEEPWATER HORIZON RESPONSE BAA HSCG32-10-R-R00019, TRACKING #2003954

    We are pleased to inform you that the initial screening of your White Paper submitted under Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) HSCG32-10-R-R00019 has been completed. It has been determined that your White Paper submission has a potential for benefit to the spill response effort.

    Your White Paper has been forwarded to the Deepwater Horizon Response Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) for further action under its authority. Subject to the constraints and needs of the ongoing oil spill response, you may be contacted by the FOSC or the responsible party.

    We appreciate your interest in supporting the Deepwater Horizon Response effort.

    Contracting Officer /s/
    USCG R&D Center

  • Chacesmith

    There was a non toxic Alternative to clean up the spill that has been successfully tested by BP after 10 months of spill damages. The Coast Guard sent a letter from headquarters stating to the FOSC to take action with OSE II, and the EPA, Lisa Jackson stopped the Coast Guard from allowing BP from implementing OSE II. In fact the EPA stopped the application of OSE II 11 times denying State Senators direct request for use of OSE II from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. La Department of environmental requested the use of OSE II as well, EPA’s Sam Coleman denied their request without reason. Governor Jindal tried to get OSE II demonstrated on the Chandelier Islands on May 6, 2010, and the EPA stopped the Governor as well. The EPA in fact stopped the use of OSE II 11 times, without a reason given. Had the EPA allowed Governor Jindal to allow the demonstration of OSE II on May 6, 2010, it is possible a significant portion of the environmental damages, including the shorelines and the seafood industry would have been spared. The toxicty test comparison between OSE II and corexit really cannot be compared since with corexit, the label states it can cause red blood cells to burst, kidney, and liver problems if a chemical suit and respirator are not worn. OSE II in contrast can be used to wash your hands and is non toxic. The BP Deep Horizon spill has proven that corexit only sinks oil and causes the same oil to be addressed a second time when it comes ashore as under water plumes, or tar balls, while OSE II has a substantiated end point of converting oil to CO2 and water. See Coast Guard letter below

    U. S. Department
    of Homeland Security
    United States
    Coast Guard

    Commanding Officer 1 Chelsea Street
    U. S. Coast Guard New London, CT 06320
    Research and Development Center Staff Symbol: Contracting Office
    Phone: (860) 271-2807

    July 10, 2010

    OSEI Corporation
    P.O. Box 515429
    Dallas, TX 75251

    Attn: Steven Pedigo, President/Owner

    DEEPWATER HORIZON RESPONSE BAA HSCG32-10-R-R00019, TRACKING #2003954

    We are pleased to inform you that the initial screening of your White Paper submitted under Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) HSCG32-10-R-R00019 has been completed. It has been determined that your White Paper submission has a potential for benefit to the spill response effort.

    Your White Paper has been forwarded to the Deepwater Horizon Response Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) for further action under its authority. Subject to the constraints and needs of the ongoing oil spill response, you may be contacted by the FOSC or the responsible party.

    We appreciate your interest in supporting the Deepwater Horizon Response effort.

    Contracting Officer /s/
    USCG R&D Center

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