NEW FEATURED VIDEO: Independent Scientist Criticizes BP and Unified Command for Impeding Research Where and When It’s Needed Most


According to civil engineer Marco Kaltofen, limited access and inefficient bureaucratic processes are jeopardizing the scientific research critical to making informed decisions about what’s really happening in the Gulf of Mexico. BP and Unified Command continue to hinder the process of getting scientists on the ground to take samples in the most heavily impacted areas. With each passing day, valuable data is lost forever – data that could help hold BP accountable for the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

Kaltofen: “We’ve found that because of the emergency response and the nature of the way it’s been patrolled by BP and even sometimes by Unified Command, we’re not getting enough scientists on the ground with full access to get the environmental samples we need. If we don’t get the data, then we can’t be making valid decisions…”

The government has taken a “guilty until proven innocent” attitude, by baselessly accusing our research team of failing to acquire permits – the documents needed to access areas and take scientific samples – forcing us to slow down the data-gathering process. According to Kaltofen: “We’re trying to get more scientists out there, but now they’re being bogged down in bureaucratic paperwork….We asked if [government officials] would like to see all of our data and all of our methods, but what they’re really interested in was seeing all of our permits and finding out whether we’d dotted every “i” and crossed every “t.” Well, we have, but the presumption that we hadn’t slowed our research down and is now causing other academic researchers to have to go back and check over paperwork when they should be in the Gulf collecting data…”

One could argue that this is just another tactic in the overall BP-government strategy to hide the truth about what is happening in the Gulf.

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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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