Cao Vows Follow-up on Study Finding Administration Downplayed Oil Spill Impact
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao (LA-02) expressed his “serious concern” over a federal government-commissioned report that found the Administration consistently underestimated its assessments of how much oil was spilling into the Gulf of Mexico after the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig.
The report, from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, said the Administration also offered overly optimistic assessments of the spill’s impact after BP’s well was finally capped.
Cao said, “These findings, if true, raise serious questions about how much the Administration can be trusted to tell the hard cold truth in life-or-death emergency situations where the public health is at stake. The Administration appears to have put politics ahead of the people, acting to calm criticism of its performance handling the spill at the expense of providing accurate information that people needed to protect themselves. That is disturbing.”
Cao added, “This can only further erode public confidence in government and contribute to widespread skepticism about the effectiveness of the Administration’s response to the spill. More importantly, it underscores the need for ongoing independent scientific research into the effects of the spill on our water and seafood.”
The report stated, “By initially underestimating the amount of oil flow and then, at the end of the summer, appearing to underestimate the amount of oil remaining in the Gulf, the federal government created the impression that it was either not fully competent to handle the spill or not fully candid with the American people about the scope of the problem.”
Cao said he will study the report in greater detail before deciding what action to take in Congress.