Monday, May 17, 2010

Big Oil Can't Be Trusted: BP Fighting Efforts To Measure True Extent Of Its Oil Spill

Amid one of the worst oil spills in history, the New York Times reports today that British Petroleum is fighting efforts to measure the true extent of the damage caused by its sunken oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico:
BP has resisted entreaties from scientists that they be allowed to use sophisticated instruments at the ocean floor that would give a far more accurate picture of how much oil is really gushing from the well.

“The answer is no to that,” a BP spokesman, Tom Mueller, said on Saturday. “We’re not going to take any extra efforts now to calculate flow there at this point. It’s not relevant to the response effort, and it might even detract from the response effort.”
Really? BP's flack expects us to believe that knowing the amount of oil that is currently gushing into the Gulf of Mexico isn't relevant to the cleanup efforts? I hope they're paying Mr. Mueller well, because saying that with a straight face requires considerable talent.

And why might BP's answer to the scientists be "no"?
Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.
In other words, BP doesn't want more bad images or revised estimates of its oil spill -- already a monumental PR disaster -- to be released publicly. It's part of a concerted effort to keep as much information as possible under wraps: BP fought hard to delay the release of this video of the ongoing oil gusher 5,000 feet below sea level, in part because scientists were able to analyze the video once it was released, and determined that the oil was spilling at a much faster rate than BP at first admitted.

Just one more piece of evidence that Big Oil can't be trusted with the safety of our environment or our economy.

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