"The two chairmen of the president's Oil Spill Commission, which is conducting an inquiry into the April 20 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, expressed skepticism Monday about claims from BP and government officials that initial underestimation of the flow rate of the Macondo well had no impact on the response to the spill.
The flow rate of the blown-out well sparked great controversy at the height of the crisis. The Coast Guard initially pegged the leak at 1,000 barrels a day, then upped that to 5,000 barrels, using both government and BP estimates. But the actual rate initially was 62,000 barrels a day, according to scientists in the government-backed Flow Rate Technical Group.
A persistent question is whether BP and the Coast Guard calibrated their initial response plans, at the surface and at the sea floor, to handle the smaller amount of gushing oil. Representatives of both, appearing Monday at a commission hearing at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, denied that they made such a mistake, saying they went all-out with every available resource."