BP Funds Study on Oil Spill Effects, Attempts to Exert Control over Scientists

BP has set up a $500 million dollar fund to study the effects of the oil spilled during the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. Today, theeagle.com announced that A&M will receive $14.4 million of that $500 million-dollar fund. Piers Chapman, the head of A&M's oceanography department says that research will be conducted independently from BP--it will be a third-party study conducted by a group of scientists chaired by Rita Colwell, a former director of the National Science Foundation. Sounds good, until you remember the series of internal documents Greenpeace obtained in which BP executives openly discuss how they can exert control over these scientists. One executive writes: Can we “direct” funding to a specific study (as we now see the Governor’s office trying to do?) What influence do we have over the vessels / equipment driving the studies vs the questions?” Another email details the agenda for a meeting which includes a “discussion around GRI and whether or not BP can influence this Long Term Research Program ($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.” I said it once, and I'll say it again. 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. Find out more about the legal thriller, Black Oil, Red Blood here. A portion of the proceeds benefits Gulf People Helping People. Read for fun and help out a good cause.

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