The Obama administration repeatedly underestimated the extent of the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, causing Americans to lose faith in the federal government to oversee recovery efforts, The New York Times reported
today. Wildly inaccurate federal estimates contributed to an impression that federal officials were either inept or dishonest, according to the Times, which cited a scathing report from the commission President Barack Obama set up to look into the disaster.
Not only did the Obama administration underestimate the actual spill but also leaders gave inaccurate reports of how much oil was left in the Gulf waters once the well was capped, according to the report.
The administration initially said last spring that the oil was flowing at only about 1,000 barrels a day. But before the crisis was resolved and the BP well had been capped this summer, federal officials and independent scientists concluded that 60,000 barrels a day were surging into the Gulf.
That helped to create an impression among Americans that their leaders were “either not fully competent to handle the spill or not fully candid with the American people,’’ concluded the report from the seven-member commission investigating the spill.
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