The Independent reported on Oct. 8:
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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.