Government Assessment: “Little Cancer Risk” From Controlled Oil Burns; Independent Scientists Remain Skeptical


Good news! The same government that brought you “5,000 barrels a day” and “the vast majority of the oil is gone” has also determined that there’s “little cancer risk” from dioxin released during the “controlled burns” of BP oil.

Once again, you have to read the language very closely. The Times-Picayune, for example, notes that “… however, the results are based on tests of a single composite sample of material captured in the plumes of 27 fires during four days in July, according to a separate paper describing the collection process, and the scientists writing that paper expressed concerns about the adequacy of the sampling.”

Some of my colleagues have done other burn tests recently, and we expect the findings to be very interesting. If independent tests refute these very rosy results from our government, it will be yet another black eye for the Obama Administration as it struggles with revelations that that White House edited the science to support its drilling moratorium.

The BP spill keeps giving President Obama opportunities to make his very own President Bush-like moments. We’ve had the “Mission Accomplished” moment with the announcement that the “vast majority of oil is gone” drivel, and now the current Administration seems to be consistently spinning the science to fit policy goals. We’ll see how this latest “burn” info holds up in the coming weeks.

Read the Times-Picayune story (carefully, of course) here:

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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