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After Oil Rig Blast, BP Refused to Share Underwater Spill Footage
During a series of dry-run exercises, where the U.S. Coast Guard, other agencies and oil companies practiced their response to major oil spill disasters, industry executives repeatedly pressed federal regulators to give them more say on what information would be released to the public if disaster struck.
Reports obtained in a joint investigation by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity show oil companies targeted the potential release of "confidential" information as a key concern.
Throughout the clean-up effort, BP has monitored the spill site around the clock using submarine-mounted cameras at the mouth of the spill. An official at Oceaneering International, the company that operates the submarines under a contract with BP, told ABC News he "could walk right down the hall and watch it, but I can't share it without BP's express permission."
Eric Smith, a professor at Tulane University's Energy Institute said that footage could help in making independent assessments of the scope of the spill. But it also could do public relations damage to BP. It has remained closely guarded and cannot be made public under the argument that it is "proprietary," according to Coast Guard officials who have received repeated requests to release the images.
...government officials told reporters they were trying to persuade the company to be more forthcoming.
Asked if the White House could compel the company to release the video, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday the decision rests with BP, which controls the tapes.
Originally posted by tellmemoreok
This is disgusting. Obama should be ALL OVER BP's ass to release that footage. If there is even a microscopic chance that making the footage publicly available would help to find a solution to cap the spill, it should have been done immediately. BP is making a bad situation worse by doing this.
The Deepwater Horizon Incident Response Center has released a shocking new video of the BP oil pipe leak at its source 5,000 feet down on the ocean floor.
Thick black crude oil that looks like an underwater volcano can be seen pumping uncontrollably into the water: