"WASHINGTON — With a startling report that some researchers call more spin than science, the government said Wednesday that the mess made by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is mostly gone already.
Out of sight, though, doesn't mean out of danger, nor is the Gulf now clean. The harmful effects of the summer of the spill can continue on for years even with oil at the microscopic level, a top federal scientist warned.
U.S. officials announced that nearly 70 percent of the spilled oil dissolved naturally, or was burned, skimmed, dispersed or captured, with almost nothing left to see — at least on top of the water. That declaration came on the same day they trumpeted success in plugging up the leaking well with drilling mud,
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey announced in the five-page report that only 52.7 million gallons of oil are left in the Gulf. That is about 31 percent of the 172 million gallons that spewed into the water from the broken BP well.
What's left in the water is still almost five times the amount spilled by the Exxon Valdez in 1989."
"U.S. Finds Most Oil From Spill Poses Little Additional Risk" (New York Times)
"Administration Overly Optimistic About Fate of Spilled Oil" (Froomkin/Huffington Post)
"Scientists Skeptical of Obama Claims BP's Spill Doesn't Threat Gulf" (McClatchy)
"Risky Business: Times Jumps the Gun, Irresponsibly Dismisses Threat of Remaining Oil" (Columbia Journalism Review)
"Gulf Oil Spill Not 'Gone' -- Close To Half May Still Lurk in Gulf" (Christian Science Monitor)
"Obama Team Defends Upbeat Gulf Oil Spill Report" (AP)
"Gulf Residents Skeptical Of Federal Oil Report" (NPR)
"Obama Team's Gulf Gusher Report Draws Skepticism" (NPR)