Obama’s BP Oil-Spill Commision – Government Untruthful
It’s not as if we didn’t already know that the government was not being truthful with its initial estimates of the size of the BP oil spill.
Any doubts about whether the government was being truthful to the people in the Gulf, and the American people, are now dispelled by Obama’s own oil-spill commission.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration repeatedly underestimated how much oil was flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from the stricken BP well, contributing to public fear about the accident and a loss of faith in the government’s ability to handle it, according to a sharply critical report from the presidential commission appointed to study the disaster.
The initial figure, released shortly after the well blew out on April 20 was 1,000 barrels a day, which was viewed at the time as significant but manageable. Over the next four months, the government figure was continually revised upward, even as independent scientists using more sophisticated methods were estimating a discharge rate many times higher than the official numbers.
The continual upward revision of flow rate estimates “undermined public confidence in the federal government’s response to the spill,” the commission staff said in its report to the seven-member investigative panel appointed by President Obama.
The report also says that about two weeks after the BP rig exploded, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration asked the White House for permission to make public its worst-case models for the accident. The White House Office of Management and Budget denied the request, according to government officials interviewed by the commission’s staff.
So the important question is, by downplaying the size of the oil spill in the Gulf, was the government’s/BPs response adqeuate to the problem.
Or did the misleading/false figures contribute to a less-than-adequate response that delayed full mobilization of resources? And, if so, did this add to the misery and the destruction that was wreaking havoc and overwheming the people and the environment in the Gulf?
To add insult to injury with the initial falsehoods, we now find out, according to the presidential commission, that the government continued with its duplicity even after the oil blow-out was finally brought under control.
In August, top administration officials proudly proclaimed that 75 percent of the oil had evaporated, dissolved or been collected, implying that their efforts had been largely successful and that ecological damage had been limited. Carol Browner, the White House coordinator for energy and climate change, proclaimed on Aug. 4: “I think it’s also important to note that our scientists have done an initial assessment and more than three-quarters of the oil is gone. The vast majority of the oil is gone.”
But the commission staff said that the government’s own data did not support such sweeping conclusions. A number of respected independent researchers have concluded that as much as half of the spilled oil remains suspended in the water or buried in seafloor and coastal sludge.
The criticism of Bush for his handling of Hurricane Katrina was swift and unsparing; with the release of Obama’s own oil-spill commission’s findings, how should we now judge Obama’s handling of the devastating BP oil-spill in the Gulf?