UPDATE: BP finally admits its 5,000 barrels per day estimate lowballs the spill.

If BP America’s president can’t say for sure the BP oil spill isn’t gushing 70,000 barrels per day, how can we trust BP’s official estimate that it’s actually spilling 5,000 barrels per day?

After testifying before the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday, National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Larry Schweiger says he’s more convinced than ever that the disaster is being compounded by a cover-up:

It is now clear that BP had hoped to cover up the damage of their oil spill by withholding video evidence of the size of the gushers and preventing independent analysis. In Washington, it’s been said that “it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up” — but in this case, it’s both the crime and the cover-up that are an outrage.

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The Gulf of Mexico is a crime scene and BP cannot be left in charge of assessing the damage or controlling the data from their spill. The public deserves sound science, not sound bites from BP’s CEO.

I want to thank EPA Administrator Jackson for her ongoing efforts to make information available to the public, including the first release today of BP’s sub-surface dispersant testing data. The information is available at EPA.gov/BPSpill.

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I caught up with Larry just after Wednesday’s hearing gaveled to a close: