Panel: Gov’t stopped scientists from telling worst-case spill numbers

By Associated Press
Wednesday, October 6, 2010 11:51 EDT
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Panel: White House blocked public release of worst-case spill numbers

The White House blocked efforts by federal scientists to tell the public just how bad the Gulf oil spill could have been.

That finding comes from a panel appointed by President Barack Obama to investigate the worst offshore oil spill in history.

In documents released Wednesday, the national oil spill commission reveals that in late April or early May the White House budget office denied a request from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to make public the worst-case discharge from the blown-out well.

BP estimated the worse scenario to be a leak of 2.5 million gallons per day. The government, meanwhile, was telling the public the well was releasing 210,000 gallons per day — a figure that later grew closer to BP’s figure.

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