For those of you skeptical of the administration response and posturing on the gulf oil spill, I think you might want to read this before you jump to any conclusions
Scientists were stunned that NOAA, an agency widely respected for its scientific integrity, appeared to have been co-opted by the White House spin machine. "NOAA has actively pushed back on every fact that has ever come out," says one ocean scientist who works with the agency.
From the start, the administration has seemed intent on allowing BP to operate in near-total secrecy. Much of what the public knows about the crisis it owes to Rep. Ed Markey
The Obama Justice Department took more than 40 days after the initial blast killed 11 workers to announce it was opening a criminal probe.
here are some very interesting quotes in the time line :
On the campaign trail, Obama had stressed that offshore drilling "will not make a real dent in current gas prices or meet the long-term challenge of energy independence." ...once in office...Obama unveiled an aggressive push for new offshore drilling in the Arctic, the Southeastern seaboard and new waters in the Gulf, closer to Florida than ever before. In doing so, he ignored his administration's top experts on ocean science, who warned that the offshore plan dramatically understated the risks of an oil spill
Written on a whiteboard at the front of the room is the government's initial..."Estm: 64k - 110k bbls/Day." The equivalent of up to three Exxon Valdez spills gushing into the Gulf of Mexico every week.
Damningly, the whiteboard also documents the disconnect between what the government suspected to be the magnitude of the disaster and the far lower estimates it was feeding to the public.
Appearing on the network that same day on a video feed from the Gulf, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry insisted that the government had no figure. "We do not have an estimate of the amount of crude emanating from the wellhead,"
Later in the video, a voice on speakerphone with a heavy Southern accent reveals that government scientists were concerned from the very beginning about underwater plumes of oil – a reality that NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco and BP executives are still seeking to downplay
The government, in short, knew from the start that surface measurements of the oil slick – on which it would premise its absurdly low estimate of 5,000 barrels a day – were likely to be unreliable.
Obama checked out, heading off for a long weekend in Asheville, North Carolina, where he and the first lady would stop for ribs at a barbecue joint ...spokesman Gibbs made light of the disaster. "I don't honestly think it opens up a whole new series of questions," he said. "I doubt this is the first accident that has happened, and I doubt it will be the last."
After returning from his vacation, Obama spent Monday, April 26th palling around with Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees,
Napolitano declared the BP disaster, which was now approaching the size of Puerto Rico, an "Oil Spill of National Significance" ...It had taken a full week after Deepwater Horizon exploded for the government to become fully engaged – a critical lapse that allowed the crisis to spiral out of control.
rather than applying such skepticism to BP's math, the Obama administration has instead attacked scientists who released independent estimates of the spill. When one scientist funded by NOAA released a figure much higher than the government's estimate, he found himself being pressured to retract it by officials at the agency. "Are you sure you want to keep saying this?" they badgered him. Lubchenco, the head of NOAA, even denounced as "misleading" and "premature" reports that scientists aboard the research vessel Pelican had discovered a massive subsea oil plume. Speaking to PBS, she offered a bizarre denial of the obvious. "It's clear that there is something at depth," she said, "but we don't even know that it's oil yet."IT GOES ON AND ON....
The usual flies have swarmed around what was basically just an information dump. This isn't intended to be an original diary, I'm just trying to bring it to the attention of those readers who may be interested in this, and have not seen it yet, as it just confirms a lot of things I felt within a week of this crisis. Hopefully more people will read the article than would have otherwise, and maybe someone with more patience than me (I'm just so fed up!) will write a more considered and original diary. Based on the length of the original piece I think the length of the quotes constitutes fair use.