Thursday, June 10, 2010

Salazar Report Misrepresents Seven Peer Reviewers

WSJ reported:

In the wake of the oil spill, President Obama asked Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to produce a report on new drilling safety recommendations. Then on May 27 Mr. Obama announced a six-month deep water drilling ban, justifying it on the basis of Mr. Salazar's report, a top recommendation of which was the moratorium.

On April 30th CNN reported:

Speaking at the White House, the president said he had ordered Interior Secretary Ken Salazar "to conduct a thorough review of this incident and report back to me in 30 days on what, if any, additional precautions and technologies should be required to prevent accidents like this from happening again."

Ken Salazar submitted his report, which doctored the doctors, in addition to bailing on that "thorough review of this incident":

To lend an air of technical authority, the report noted: "The recommendations contained in this report have been peer-reviewed by seven experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering."

The seven noted that they broadly agreed with the report and had even signed off on a proposal to suspend new deep water permits for six months. They also agreed to a "temporary pause" in drilling to perform additional testing on the Gulf's 33 deep water wells that have already received permits to drill.

But as for a "blanket moratorium," the seven said it "is not the answer. It will not measurably reduce risk further and it will have a lasting impact on the nation's economy which may be greater than that of the oil spill." If anything, the ban could prove "counterproductive to long term safety."

Scientists said that recommendation was added after they reviewed the report. WSJ believes the White House wanted the moratorium language inserted. The boss usually gets what he wants, however selling it with fictitious expert endorsements is poor form. That fits with a disaster prioritizing risk management over response.

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