"I'm not really happy with the press release and how it reads," said Purdue University Professor Steven Wereley. "I have heard it mischaracterized."
Special Section: Disaster in the Gulf
Now, there's a second group of unhappy experts. They say the government mischaracterized their work, too. They were tasked with reviewing the government's 30-day assessment of the oil spill. Problem is, after they approved the paper - somebody changed it. In the changed version, it looked like the outside experts endorsed the six-month blanket moratorium on offshore drilling the government wants.
"This is not the case," wrote seven of the experts in a strong letter of rebuttal. "A moratorium ... was never agreed to by the contributors ... unfortunately after the review the conclusion was modified." They added that Interior Secretary Salazar "should not be free to use our names to justify his political decisions."
Salazar was asked about the flap at a hearing.
"The moratorium was added after the final review and was never agreed to by the contributors," said Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah.
Salazar didn't say who changed the report, but acknowledged the discrepancy.
"It was not their decision on the moratorium," Salazar said. "It was my decision and the president's decision to move forward with the moratorium."
All of this serves to add to a sense of mistrust of not just what BP says, but what top government officials are telling the public.
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