In the first weeks after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, spilling oil into the Gulf of Mexico, government scientists were scrambling to figure out how much oil was leaking from the well. These estimates kept being revised upwards as the scientists got more information -- and then revised downwards as politicians pressured them to make sunnier predictions. Correspondence obtained by the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) shows that political leaders in the White House and other government agencies pushed scientists to release lower estimates than they were comfortable with.
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Sarah Laskow is a reporter based in New York City who covers environment, energy, and sustainability issues, among other things.
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