photo: US Fish & Wildlife Service via flickr
While BP just concluded that a whole slew of missteps led to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent Gulf Gusher, so it seems a whole bunch of political squabbling seems to be holding up distribution of some $500 million in research money pledged to investigate the ecological effects of the spill. OnEarth goes into more detail, but this is the gist of it:Back in May BP pledged that half billion dollars to scientific research and said it would be distributed through an independent panel to the "best marine biologists and oceanographers in the world."
Most of that money remains undistributed because it seems a number of governors of states bordering the Gulf want to ensure that some of that money goes to institutions in their states, not just the best of the best.
Mike Carron, of the Northern Gulf Institute:
The southeastern states...believe they've got the capability to do most of the research that needs to be done in the Gulf. And they're really worried that if you're not careful, the guys who always get the big research money will continue to get it.
Those guys getting the big research money: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, etc.
Regardless of where the money gets allocated, as scientists and the original article point out, time is of the essence here. The oil remaining in the water is biodegrading, changing and without the money to fund research examining that a great scientific opportunity may be lost.
Read the original: BP's Missing Research Money
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More on BP:
BP Deepwater Horizon Accident Report Disperses Blame, Glosses Over Big Questions
BP Photoshopped Fake Crisis Command Center for Website (Pics)
BP Now Owns the Airspace Above the Spill, Too - Bars Journalists From Flying Over It