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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Why Kill All the Lawyers? Just Buy All the Scientists

Classic Big Oil playbook: BP is trying to stifle science. As it rounds up experts to help build its defense against over 300 lawsuits stemming from the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, BP is trying to get academics under contract not just to testify on their behalf, but to prevent them from offering any testimony for plaintiffs against BP. Those contracts include confidentiality clauses that would restrict scientists on BP's payroll from publishing any research results on the oil spill for three years.

Anyone care to speculate how many of the 3% of active climate scientists who still deny anthropogenic climate change have been similarly bought by Big Oil? Or how many of these educated folks who helped prepare the inadequate draft environmental impact statement for the Keystone XL pipeline may have contracts to ensure they never say a discouraging word about the designs of Big Oil?

Worth noting: Entrix, the consulting firm TransCanada paid to write the DEIS and lowball the risk of pipeline rupture, is also BP's go-to team for environmental consulting. Also, one of the Entrix folks in charge of oil spill risk assessment in the DEIS has as her highest degree an MBA from questionable for-profit online University of Phoenix.


  1. Actually, this speaks more to our pathetic public funding level of science in this country than anything else. If a single corporation can buy up the whole field we aren't providing these scientist with good enough economic incentives to keep doing good science.

  2. Alas, we don't pay Congressmen enough, either, to keep them from being bought. At least a number of scientists are sounding the alarm and refusing to sign on with BP.


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