Just How Much Did the Feds Screw Up Gulf Spill Estimates?


The four draft staff reports that the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling released yesterday had quite a bit to say about the Obama administration’s botched handling of the BP oil spill. You can see the reports on the spill size and dispersant use for more.

But sometimes, an image really does tell you a lot about the story. That is certainly the case with this graph documenting the flow rate estimates from the government and outside experts over the course of the disaster. The blue lines represent the official government estimates and the green lines show how much independent experts said was spewing from the Gulf well every day.

  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.

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