Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Public trust lost in spill cleanup

Talk about really bad estimates. Seriously come on! This just confirms a belief held by many that the initial response and action plan in dealing with the spill was subpar at best. Where is the accountability?

"WASHINGTON – The Obama administration's repeated low estimates of the huge BP oil spill undermined public confidence in the government's entire cleanup effort, leaders of a White House-appointed commission declared at an investigatory hearing Monday. One likened the mistakes to Custer's disastrous decisions at Little Big Horn.

Federal officials botched the government's response, a local official and government and university scientists contended as the commission focused on the questions of who was in charge and how much oil spewed out of the well into the Gulf of Mexico. Eventually, U.S. officials said the spill was about 60 times bigger than originally estimated. Instead of 42,000 gallons a day, the volume of leaking oil was closer to 2.4 million gallons a day.

Retired Adm. Thad Allen, in charge of the government's response, told commissioners that the low estimates didn't hamper government efforts to deal with the spill. But William Reilly, former chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said he had trouble believing that, that it contradicted common sense.

A senior government scientist, Bill Lehr of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said once NOAA realized the spill was much larger than estimated, things changed tremendously. Vacations were canceled, retirees were called in and oil response staff was "given a blank check," he said. Florida State University's Ian MacDonald said it took eight attempts by the government to arrive at the correct estimate. He said BP's estimate of 210,000 gallons a day was about 100 times less than federal guidelines said it should have been based on the thickness and color of the oil.

As for the future, Graham said the government should take a stronger role regulating oil wells in the Gulf. "There is a tendency to forget the fact that this property out in the Gulf of Mexico where all this is happening belongs to all of us," he said. "We are the landlord. They are the lessees. And we need to start acting like a landlord."

Article received from the Yahoo News to read the full article click link


Post a Comment