WHAT: Whistle-blower group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking hundreds of pages of U.S. Geological Survey documentation concerning the size of the BP oil spill.
WHY: The lawsuit says PEER wants the withheld documents because it suspects “the administration took, and is still taking, steps to falsely minimize public perception about the extent and severity of the BP spill.”
WHAT HAPPENED: For five weeks after the spill, the government estimated a flow rate of 5,000 barrels per day. Then, it went to a “best estimate” of between 12,000 and 19,000 barrels. Finally, after the well was capped in August, it announced the daily flow started at 62,000 barrels and gradually dropped to 53,000.