BP’s middle-of-the-night made-up claim about how much their wellhead is spilling, and the Coast Guard’s and NOAA’s repetition of that number without insisting on independent verification by outside experts and instruments, makes these federal agencies look incompetent. BP, through its duplicity and incompetence, has infected the exact agencies Americans, and especially American scientists want to work with and help: the Coast Guard & NOAA.

These agencies must free themselves from the corporate self-dealing and self-protection umbrella that BP has thrown over them.