Many on the East Coast have long suspected the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of using faulty science in its regulation of New England fish stocks. Now a new report says the Obama administration dismissed that agency's worst-case assessments of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
A presidential commission charged with evaluating the administration's response to the spill expressed criticism of the timing and effectiveness of that response in a series of reports issued last week.
"By initially underestimating the amount of oil flow and then, at the end of the summer, appearing to underestimate the amount of oil remaining in the Gulf, the federal government created the impression that it was either not fully competent to handle the spill or not fully candid with the Americans people about the scope of the problem," the commission concluded.
According to the New York Times account of the report, "About two weeks after the BP rig exploded, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration asked the White House for permission to make public its worst-case models for the accident." But the White House resisted that request, the newspaper noted, because "White House officials said that it was a flawed and incomplete study."
The assessment was eventually released in July.
The picture the reports present is not a pretty one, particularly as it pertains to the administration's estimates regarding the amount of oil spilling into the Gulf at the height of the Deepwater Horizon gusher and what's left in the oceans and on the sea floor.
Funny how the White House could be so dismissive of the NOAA's figures when they painted a picture less optimistic than the one they wished to portray regarding the oil spill, but cite them as gospel in pushing their environmental agenda here.