How did that happen and was it intentional?
Apparently the baseline numbers used by NOAA in the previous estimates caused a skewing of the numbers and were nothing more than an "educated guess." That would be convenient to try and paint a rosier picture of what is happening and bring about a sigh of relief that all is becoming right in the Gulf.
It would also be a big fat lie.
NOAA is a government entity, so why are they coming out with findings that will protect BP and the boys, especially when they knew their analysis would arrive at the wrong numbers? We think it was intentional at worst and inept at best.
Representative Markey took them to task on this:
Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), who chairs the Energy and Environment Subcommittee that held the hearing, said the administration’s initial report this month — and the trumpeting of it — gave people a "false sense of confidence" about the environmental risks that remain.“Intended or not, I think the reaction to the oil budget report that was released … is one of relief,” Markey said. “People want to believe that everything is OK. I think this report and the way it is being discussed is giving many people a false sense of confidence regarding the state of the Gulf. Overconfidence breeds complacency and complacency is what got us into this situation in the first place.”
Whose responsible for this at NOAA? Bill Lehr is their senior scientist and the buck is on his desk. None of their earlier studies were peer reviewed, which would be a standard process, nor did NOAA release the models used to arrive at the wrong numbers. He's caught now and he wants to appear to be the pillar of righteousness by ensuring that this time it will be done correctly.
Markey isn't buying what he's trying to sell:
Lehr also said it would take another two months for administration officials to release their full report on the BP spill.“That’s not timely enough, doctor,” Markey told him. “Because if your numbers are wrong, two months from now could be too late.”Said Lehr: "I will do whatever I can to speed up the report. We want to make sure it's done right."Markey asked Lehr in the meantime to release data used to put together the initial oil budget calculation the administration released this month so it could be subjected to independent scientific review.“You don’t want to make the models and data available, but you've given us conclusions from the data," Markey said.Markey also chastised Lehr for the administration prematurely releasing that report.“If you’re not confident that it is right, then it shouldn’t have been released,” Markey said. "Gulf residents don’t want the risks to be downplayed, or low-balled,” he said.
If anyone in this whole sordid mess has been the beacon of strength and should be praised for constantly holding those responsible in account for their failures it has been Representative Markey. We applaud him mightily.
All of this reminds us of what the Alabama officials and environmental agencies are getting wrong themselves as we have covered in previous postings.
In their zeal to move this issue off the front pages and subject Alabamians to unnecessary risks by encouraging them to eat the local seafood and go ahead and swim in the Gulf of Corexit, like NOAA they are jumping the gun intentionally and carelessly. By doing this, in our opinion, they exhibit no cautionary regard for their citizens and their actions reveal they only invariably care about their own potential profits and their "special interest buddies."
(originally posted 8/21/2010)
(originally posted 8/21/2010)