Head-scratcher

New Gulf Oil Spill Info

Do newly released emails help or hurt the Obama administration’s much-panned relief effort to this summer’s oil spill? The White House said 172 million gallons of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico between April 20 and July 15—and insisted that number is accurate. But new emails released to the Associated Press reveal uncertainty between the administration and scientists during the summer, with one senior U.S. scientist calling the early estimates of oil “a guess.” The government released 5,817 pages of internal emails Wednesday afternoon—a time when few people pay attention to the news due to Thanksgiving. Administration officials did not reach a final decision about the amount of oil spilled until June 15, nearly two months after the spill began. In one email, Bill Lehr of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wrote the administration went public with a summary of estimates before finishing their work.