BP, with Government Support, Hid Videos Showing Size of Oil Spill

Sunday, June 06, 2010
(video capture: BP)

Video footage showing the seriousness of the oil spill at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico was kept from the public in the early days of the crisis. But exactly who was to blame for suppressing the images is up for debate.

BP insists the U.S. Coast Guard had access to the footage from the beginning of the accident. But Coast Guard officials claim BP refused to allow the release of the footage to media outlets.
Even if that were true, nothing prevented the Coast Guard or superiors at the Department of Homeland Security from telling the American public that the situation was worse than publicly stated. Instead, Coast Guard Admiral Mary Landry and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano advised people not to attach importance to the volume of the spill.
By going along with BP’s insistence that the spill was probably 5,000 barrels of oil a day, the government may have helped reduce the amount of fines and penalties the corporation eventually will have to pay.
The difference between a spill of 5,000 barrels a day and 20,000 barrels a day is $15 million a day, according to ABC News, which quoted Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida) as saying: “It clearly tells us why they drug their feet to release these tapes. I guess they were hoping that they could get it under control and this whole problem would go away.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
BP and Feds Withheld Videos Showing Massive Scope of Oil Spill (by Brian Ross, Matthew Mosk and Avni Patel, ABC News)


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