"Two new scientific reports on Tuesday raised fresh fears about the environmental fallout from the world's worst offshore oil spill and questioned government assurances that most of the oil from the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico was already gone.
"Researchers at the University of Georgia said Monday that more than three-quarters of the oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon drilling-rig explosion could still be in the Gulf threatening fisheries and marine life, disputing government statements that much of the oil had been safely dispersed.
Federal officials from the Coast Guard and NOAA now confirm what Gulf researchers have charged -- that they tried to squelch initial reports of massive underwater oil plumes emanating from the blown out Deepwater Horizon well.
"The Obama administration on Wednesday delivered an upbeat verdict on the fate of the estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil that spewed out of BP's blown out well in the Gulf of Mexico, saying that most of it has either been dispersed, burned off, skimmed up, directly recaptured through containment efforts, evaporated or dissolved.
"NEW ORLEANS — The BP spill is by far the world's largest accidental release of oil into marine waters, according to the most precise estimates yet of the well's flow rate, announced by federal scientists on Monday. "
"The oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico appears to be dissolving far more rapidly than anyone expected, a piece of good news that raises tricky new questions about how fast the government should scale back its response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
"A group of independent scientists, frustrated and dumbfounded by the continued lack of the most basic data about the 77-day-old BP oil disaster, has put together a crash project intended to definitively measure how much oil has spilled and where and how it is spreading throughout the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. An all-star team of top oceanographers, chemists, engineers and other scientists could be ready to head out to the well site on two fully-equipped research vessels on about a week's notice. But they need to get the go-ahead -- and about $8.4 million -- from BP or the federal government or both. And that does not appear imminent." Dan Froomkin reports for Huffington Post July 6, 2010.
"A key Democratic lawmaker revealed an internal BP document on Sunday showing that the embattled oil giant's worst-case scenario projected that 100,000 barrels of oil could be released each day that the well remains uncapped." BP denied underestimating the spill.