Government scientists wanted to tell Americans early on how bad the BP oil spill could get, but the White House denied their request to make the worst-case models public, a report by the staff of the national panel investigating the spill said Wednesday.
White House officials denied that they tried to suppress the information.
The allegation was made by unnamed government officials cited in a staff working paper released Wednesday by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. Although not a final report, it could raise questions over whether the Obama administration tried to minimize the extent of the BP oil spill, the worst man-made environmental disaster in U.S. history.
The staff paper said that underestimating the flow rates "undermined public confidence in the federal government's response" by creating the impression that the government was either incompetent or untrustworthy. The paper said that the loss of trust "fuels public fears."
In a separate report, the commission's staff concluded that despite the Coast Guard's insistence that it was always responding to the worst-case scenario, the failure to have an accurate flow rate slowed the response and lulled Obama administration officials into a false belief that the spill would be controlled easily.
Never forget why they would do that:
BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company’s political action committees — $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals.http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/36783.html
And never forget why Obama would let them:
During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/36783.html
Not a bad return on a $77,051 investment!