Barack Obama campaigned on the promise not to play politics with science (something his predecessor was often accused of).
But now it appears that this White House, according to the bi-partisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling that the president created to investigate the spill, "blocked government scientists from warning the American public of the potential environmental disaster caused by BP's broken well in the Gulf of Mexico."
The Washington Post reports:
A commission set up by President Obama to scrutinize the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has released preliminary reports that say the administration created the impression that it was "either not fully competent" or "not fully candid with the American people about the scope of the problem."
The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling released four "working papers" Wednesday that said the administration's response was marked by confusion about the spill rate, slowing the federal effort immediately after the oil exploration well blew out April 20.
The commission staff's preliminary papers also said that Obama's Office of Management and Budget later delayed a report by government scientists that would have included a "worst-case" estimate of the rate of the spill, weeks before the government revised its own official estimates upward.
The reports delivered a harsh assessment of the administration's later contention that most of the spill was "gone." They point to comments by Carol M. Browner, Obama's climate and energy czar, who in a television interview mischaracterized a report as saying that three-quarters of the spill had disappeared.
Anyone found to have been involved in misleading the American public in the matter, including Carol Browner, must be removed from their position immediately.
As someone who has defended the president's response to the BP spill, I am appalled at the findings of the commission. However, I assume that this will be corrected and moving forward mistakes like this will not be made.