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Federal officials and the oil giant BP effectively conspired to keep the worst images of the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico from the public, according to a report Thursday.
The US Coast Guard, which is coordinating response efforts to the spill on behalf of the government, had hours of video showing the extent of the spill within nine days after the spill began. But by that point, they'd released only a single fuzzy still image.
"But inside the unified command center, where BP and federal agencies were orchestrating the spill response, video monitors had already displayed hours of footage they did not make public," ABC News' veteran investigative reporter Brian Ross reports. "The images showed a far more dire situation unfolding underwater. The footage filmed by submarines showed three separate leaks, including one that was unleashing a torrent of oil into the Gulf."
BP told the network they'd turned the video over to the Feds, and the decision to release the video was on the Feds alone.
"The video has been available to the unified command from the very beginning," BP spokesman Mark Proegle was quoted as saying. "It's always been here from the beginning. They had it."
"The video has been available to the unified command from the very beginning," said Mark Proegler, a BP spokesman. "It's always been here from the beginning. They had it."
Coast Guard officials told ABC News that BP refused to allow them to release the more startling images, arguing they were proprietary. But at the time, the agency was doing little to convey to the world what the images were showing. Coast Guard Admiral Mary Landry was sticking with estimates, calculated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which put the spill's size at about 5,000 barrels a day for several weeks. Coast Guard officials said they were focused on the response, and advised the public not to worry about just how much oil was pouring into the water.
Originally posted by mamabeth
reply to post by webpirate
I am wondering who will be responsible for
cleaning and paying for the oil spill.I have
a bad feeling about this.