Scientists Claim Obama Administration Tried to Control Oil Spill Reports

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Only weeks after BP’s undersea well began spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, scientists from two universities conducted early studies revealing that large amounts of oil were accumulating at the bottom of the ocean. But the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) not only showed no interest in the findings, but told the researchers to keep their information to themselves.

“I got lambasted by the Coast Guard and NOAA when we said there was undersea oil,” University of South Florida marine sciences dean William Hogarth told the St. Petersburg Times.
Hogarth added that some administration officials told him to retract his public remarks.
Vernon Asper, an oceanographer at the University of Southern Mississippi, experienced similar treatment from people in Washington. “We expected that NOAA would be pleased because we found something very, very interesting,” Asper said. “NOAA instead responded by trying to discredit us. It was just a shock to us.”
NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco told reporters in May that she doubted the existence of undersea oil plumes. Today, however, Lubchenco says the plumes do exist, and the NOAA is even relying on the University of South Florida for scientific help.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
USF Says Government Tried to Squelch Their Oil Plume Findings (by Craig Pittman, St. Petersburg Times)


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