Neither the American public (especially Gulf area residents) nor the scientific community have been particularly receptive to "news" from the Obama administration that the oil spilled into the Gulf by BP has for the most part been broken down or "taken care of." As if a pretty chart could compensate for hundreds of miles of soiled beaches and marshes, the Obama administration unwisely assumed it was time to put on the spin:
The rosy picture painted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA has backfired badly on the White House. After an initial positive take in an Agence France-Presse story, "... but where is all the oil?" the White House was slammed with accusations by scientists working in the Gulf such as John Kessler of Texas A&M University, who led the National Science Foundation's on-site study of the spill. According to the experts, the White House statement was "just not true."
Dozens of reports such as this one from Bloomberg via MoJo of tar mats, some as big as 20 feet in length and several inches thick sitting along the coastline of Grand Isle, are testimony to BP's poor cleanup response and the Obama administration's even poorer understanding of public sentiment around the spill. BP has mostly called off the cleanup operation. (In fact, BP just laid off 10,000 cleanup workers.) This means, if anything, we will be seeing more evidence of BP's negligence in the months to come, especially as the hurricane season brings to shore buried blobs of "residual" oil.
One attorney, Stuart H. Smith — who represents the United Commercial Fishermen’s Association, the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, and other commercial, governmental and nonprofit entities in states along the Gulf Coast — issued this statement today, along with a video testimony to prove the point:
The U.S. government owes it to the citizens of the Gulf Coast to refute the notion that 74 percent of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe has been eliminated and is no longer harmful. There is a serious disconnect between the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) report released Wednesday and reality. This disconnect stems from an undue optimism and is underscored by previously flawed reports issued by NOAA about dispersed oil. To answer growing skepticism, the government should immediately release the full report from NOAA, all of the underlying data used and calculations performed in generating it.
Smith just put up a website called OilSpillAction, where he is putting up videos and news from claimants against BP. Though administration officials may want to put forth the notion that "Mother Nature" has somehow miraculously taken care of the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, angry Gulf residents equipped with cameras are likely to show them a thing or two.
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