< class="art-postheader">The BP Spin Machine in Action

Have you seen the damning photographs of fresh oil plumes wafting up over the location of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster? Gulf Coastal newspapers, lawyers, and independent bloggers have reported on the oil plumes in depth in recent days. Scientists have confirmed that the chemical composition of the plumes is the same as the oil spilled in the Gulf Oil Disaster. And yet BP insists that “there is no scientific evidence” that oil is leaking from the Macondo well. . . and they’ve managed to get major media outlets to say so, despite chemical testing and photographic evidence that suggests otherwise.

The Washington Post reported that  BP examined the Macondo well and confirmed that it was not leaking any oil. “BP and the U.S. Coast Guard have conducted multiple surveys of the area in recent days and found no evidence of oil sheens in the Macondo vicinity,” BP said.

Really? Because U.S. Coast Guard Captain Jonathan Burton issued a statement acknowledging the existence of oil sheens in the vicinity, but he attributed them to natural seeps through cracks in the ocean floor. (Interestingly, BP admitted last year that their drilling had damaged the ocean floor:  http://bit.ly/o7QUfR.)  Bottom line–the Coast Guard did not say the oil was never there. BP’s insistence otherwise appears to be a deliberate falsehood designed to add credibility to a specious denial.

When BP says “no scientific evidence” of a Macondo well leak, what they mean is that there’s no oil coming directly from the head of the well. And that even if there’s oil seeping from nearby cracks in the ground formed during the explosion or as a direct result of faulty drilling processes, it’s not their fault because it’s not leaking from the drilling equipment itself. This is a classic example of the kind of misdirection technique we must not fall for.

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Why would BP try to lie in the face of such damning photographic and chemical evidence? Why would they dispatch 40 boats to lay boom and then issue a statement saying there’s not even an oil sheen there? Do they think we’re stupid?

Apparently, they do. They’ve used these kinds of tactics before, which is why the United States Justice Department  has launched an investigation to determine whether or not BP lied to the government about the amount of oil that leaked into the Gulf during last year’s catastrophic spill. In spite of the “spill cam,” which provided the entire world with a live view of exactly how much oil was leaking into the water, the Huffington Post reported that BP initially estimated a leakage of 1,000 barrels a day–a far cry from the actual flow rate, which was closer to 62,000 barrels a day (according to the New York Times.)

After that, BP attempted to exert control over the scientists studying the aftermath of the spill, according to a series of leaked emails obtained by Greenpeace activists. One executive writes: Can we “direct” funding to a specific study (as we now see the Governor’s office trying to do?) What influence do we have over the vessels / equipment driving the studies vs the questions?”

Another email details the agenda for a meeting which includes a “discussion around GRI and whether or not BP can influence this Long Term Research Program ($US500million) to undertake the studies we believe will be useful in terms of understanding the fate and effects of the spill on the environment, e.g. can we steer the research in support of Restoration Ecology? . . . It may be possible for us to suggest the direction of the studies.”

It all just goes to show that you can’t believe anything BP has to say. And even if their claims are backed up by scientists, you have to always ask, “Who funded these scientists and why?” Lies backed by enough money usually come out sounding like the truth.