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Government Earth Politics

White House Edited Oil Drilling Safety Report 368

Posted by timothy
from the first-time-for-everything dept.
bonch writes "The Interior Department inspector general has released a report stating that the White House edited a drilling safety report by reordering paragraphs to make it appear as though a seven-member panel of independent experts supported the six-month ban on offshore drilling. The IG report states, 'The White House edit of the original DOI draft executive summary led to the implication that the moratorium recommendation had been peer-reviewed by the experts,' but the panel had only reviewed a draft of safety recommendations and not a drilling ban. The White House has issued a statement saying that there was 'no intentional misrepresentation of their views.' This follows complaints from scientists and environmentalists that the administration has not been holding to its promise of policy guided by science and not ideology."
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White House Edited Oil Drilling Safety Report

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Nothing really ever changes.

    • This time it wasn't the white house changing reports in support of industry. That's a somewhat refreshing change... or would be if the effect of the report was something more than uniting the oil lobby and republican partisans. And I suspect that unlike the the last administration's report diddling, I get the feeling that this is actually going to backfire on the current administration. That's change.

      Democrats: we may not be any more honest, but we screw up so spectacularly when we lie that it's -almost-

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @06:37PM (#34201744) Homepage
    Politicians screw things up again, confuse issues, try to get a certain spin on things!

    EXTRA! EXTRA! Read All About it!
    • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @06:38PM (#34201758) Homepage
      Oh, and for all of you that thought the dems would be different, I really will respect you in the morning. Really.
      • by dhall (1252) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @06:43PM (#34201800)

        Meet the new boss
        Same as the old boss

        Cue CSI: Miami intro?

      • by ArsonSmith (13997)

        they are different repubs would have spun this to be we need to drill more, not ban it.

    • I'll take my nerd news without polotics thanks.

  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @06:38PM (#34201752)

    Wait a sec.....wrong administration.......

    Never mind.

  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @06:38PM (#34201756) Journal

    Film at 11:00pm

    Obama lied, fish died.

    • very cute. Is that from the "If it rhymes it must be true dept"?

      This is a serious breach of trust regarding the policy used to CLEAN UP THE GOPs MESS>

      Still bad, I still am just as pissed off about this as I would be with GWB if he'd done it (which I'm pretty sure he did fudge facts on a legion of issues).

      But Obama in no way caused the oil disaster. Well one *possible* avenue of responsibility stems from the Sec of Interior he chose, but that's so far down the list of directly attributable c
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 11, 2010 @06:46PM (#34201836)

    Even their lies are obvious!

  • Yes, because the White House assigns stuff like this to their interns, and doesn't employ squadrons of people who are masters at wordsmithing.

    • by nospam007 (722110) *

      Hanlon's Razor:
              Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

    • This was actually reported ~4 months ago, when the oil spill was still happening, and one of the White House staff admitted they didn't like the recommendations so they "massaged" it to provide the answer they wanted. They then apologized for it. Kinda similar to how Cigarette companies produce studies showing smoking is good for you.

  • by Aquitaine (102097) <`sam' `at' `'> on Thursday November 11, 2010 @06:51PM (#34201872) Homepage

    Was there really any doubt that the ban was a purely political decision in the first place?

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      I foolishly doubted it.

      Personally, until they can demonstrate the ability to control this kind of well in a timely manner why should they be allowed to drill?

      To me it seems like legalizing drunk driving.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @06:52PM (#34201892)

    The Interior Department inspector general has released a report stating that the White House edited a drilling safety report ...

    So now we're getting a report about a report. That's just grand. I personally am waiting for the report about the report about the report. Add a few more levels of abstraction, and we will all forget what the original issue was anyway.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by blair1q (305137)

      You just issued it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mosb1000 (710161)

      You're commenting about the summary of the report about the report. And I am commenting on your comment about the summary of the report about the report.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by SleazyRidr (1563649)

        Even better, the summary is of the news report.

        So now I'm commenting on your comment of the comment to the summary of the reports about the report about the report!

        Where did all the oil go anyway?

  • Intern (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @07:15PM (#34202082) Homepage Journal
    Somewhere, at some time in the past, some underpaid, over-motivated intern had a brilliant idea to help save the world by fighting the evil oil companies first hand! He or she was more than excited just to get an internship at the white house, under the Obama administration no less! And then, this! He or she was given the opportunity to audit a world-changing report regarding one of the most publicized environmental disasters in history for typos and grammatical correctness. Being an over-achiever and one who is full of gumption, the intern took it upon him or herself to rearrange some paragraphs and really stick it to BP, knowing that they were doing the right thing to protect the world from eco-terrorists! Captain Planet would be proud, yesiree!

    A few months later, a report about the report reveals the tampering, the public becomes outraged, Obama has to answer for it all, and the intern is currently shitting his or her pants in fear of the Pandora's box that they unlocked, perhaps,even developing a nasty cocaine addiction in the process....

    Either that or the politico douchebags in the white-house just fucked everyone over again out of sheer boredom.

    Either way, it's times like this that make me proud I went to school to become an engineer, rather than getting muddled about in that dark world of hurt that is politics!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      After Clinton I think that perhaps some of the 'excitement' at becoming a white house intern might be tempered just a little bit :)
  • by Revvy (617529) * on Thursday November 11, 2010 @07:16PM (#34202090) Homepage
    All this hullabaloo and we don't even have a diff of the two versions. Lots of hot air being blown around, but nobody's seen what the real cause of the problem is. Two words got moved, should be a simple thing to diff.

    Who needs proof when they have a hot air balloon?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by KermodeBear (738243)

      Two words got moved

      “Both versions, however, revised and re-ordered the executive summary, placing the peer review language immediately following the moratorium recommendation causing the distinction between the secretary’s moratorium recommendation – which had not been peer-reviewed – and the recommendations contained in the 30-Day Report – which had been peer-reviewed – to become effectively lost.”

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      we don't even have a diff

      'We' don't need it. The published version deliberately attributed the peer review of scientists to something they did not analyze. These are the facts; they are not in dispute. Of what use is the revision history?

      The only question is whether the claim of 'no intent to mislead' is credible. It isn't. It's a second lie heaped upon the first.

      • by CheshireCatCO (185193) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @09:05PM (#34202866) Homepage

        'We' don't need it. The published version deliberately attributed the peer review of scientists to something they did not analyze. These are the facts; they are not in dispute. Of what use is the revision history?

        I don't think you know what a "fact" is.

        A fact would be the two versions, side by side.

        And inference or a conclusion would be why it was done and what effect it had. Not the same as a fact.

        I can't think of a single reasonable reason why you wouldn't want to see the two versions published. You might be right that this was shady business, but if you are, the actual evidence would support your case so let's get it out there.

        The only question is whether the claim of 'no intent to mislead' is credible. It isn't. It's a second lie heaped upon the first.

        You've offered zero evidence of this. Proof by strident claim isn't proof, it's pundit hocus-pocus. Please stick with the facts. (But first, learn what that term means.)

    • by RingDev (879105) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @08:57PM (#34202816) Homepage Journal

      It's a shame really. It could be so clear. Every comment about the moratorium starts off with "The Secretary recommends..." where as all of the peer reviewed stuff starts off with "The Report recommends..."

      The problem though, is the word "This". A paragraph immediately following one of the paragraphs that states "The Secretary recommends ... a 6 month moratorium ... " starts off with the following:

      The recommendations contained in this report have been peer-reviewed by seven experts
      identified by the National Academy of Engineering.

      The "this" in that sentence is suppose to be referencing the report that the peer-review group passed. But since the paragraphs have been re-ordered, it appears to reference the report that we are currently reading. And thus implying that the Secretary's recommendations have been peer reviewed.


  • by RichiH (749257) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @07:44PM (#34202314) Homepage

    Dunno, when the largest oil blowout (it was not a spill!) happens, most people would think it prudent to stop and check all other similar endeavors. Maybe they misrepresented stuff on purpose. Yet, the _end_ to which they did it sounds scientific to me.

    Though the real question is why you can drill in the US waters without a cement-clad drill hole and a ready-made emergency sarcophagus already in place before you even start drilling. We have those requirements in Europe and people still make gobs of money with oil.

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      The scientists didn't think it prudent, and when asked about it after the fact said they definitely would not have recommended it.

      It makes sense, too.

      If you just had a oil well explode in a failed capping operation, what kind of idiot would order 60 more just like it, just in case it happens again? That's like accidentally cutting your finger off with a butcher knife, and then seeing if you can miss each of your other 9 fingers, just in case.

      I'll tell you what kind of idiot would do that: someone more conc

  • The question /.ers want to know - did they use vi or emacs

    • by cosm (1072588)

      The question /.ers want to know - did they use vi or emacs

      That is classified.

      Your perpetually non-transparent government.

    • You're joking (I think ;) ) ... but actually, I'd be interested to know what the WH uses for reports like this. And those giant 2k page bills they draft. MS Word? :P
  • by Lord Kano (13027)

    You mean to tell us that President Chocolate Jesus's administration is no more ethical than the previous one?

    What about all of that "The previous 8 years." stuff they they kept talking about?

    The only news here is that some people are naive enough to believe that dishonesty is owned exclusively by one party.


    • Re:Wait a minute! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Seraphim_72 (622457) on Friday November 12, 2010 @01:37AM (#34204242)

      President Chocolate Jesus

      I am so terribly sorry, you were looking for the racism thread. Despite you low ID number I feel that I must tell you that here on Slashdot we don't really go in for the whole "Negro Bashing" thing. It might have been different when you started, and I really don't think it was, but now a days we don't actually bother with people's color because, well it has nothing to do with anything.

      To help you understand my message I will use prejudicial terms so you can understand.

      I know Kikes that are poor, Spics that dont pick fruit, Niggers that suck at sports and Faggots that don't like show tunes. See? Prejudice sucks - it doesn't help anyone at all.

      Interestingly though - I now know someone that thinks 'Chocolate' is a special word for people who have dark skin. And I guess I also know someone that thinks the President is the Messiah. No one in the Theological world ever thought he was the Second Coming.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling