The national commission investigating the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico says that the White House stopped the scientists from making their models showing their worst case scenarios for the spill public. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had prepared these models as early as two weeks following the initial rig explosion. However, the commission does not state the reason why the White House sought to push the worst case scenario model under the carpet.
The original explosion happened earlier this year in April. The oil rig belonged to the British Petroleum and was located in the Gulf of Mexico. A failure of the blowout preventer was the reason for the explosion in April which killed 11. BP tried various methods of stopping the leak, which by then had sprung in three different points. It took BP another five months to successfully plug the oil spill. Varying accounts of the amount of oil leaking into the ocean did its rounds. At one point the alarming rate of the oil spill had Obama equate this to the 9/11 attack.
The commission states that the White House continuously underestimated the rate at which the oil was leaking into the ocean. This gives one the impression that either the government was incapable of handling the spill or was deliberately keeping the correct scenario away from the American public. The commission also places the blame squarely on the White House for downplaying the long term effect the oil spill will have on the environment. The report claims that the administration adhered to a report given by a scientist after a casual study of the satellite images of the oil spill on the ocean surface. The actual amount of oil spilled turned out to 12 times the estimate given by the scientist.
The actual amount of oil that spilled out into the ocean and the amount that is remaining in the ocean is a matter of debate.