This is to be expected from BP. What is more troubling is that the scientists are willingly going along with it. Now would be a good time for someone in Washington to step in and straighten out this obvious conflict of interest. CBS:
BP has been trying to hire marine scientists from universities around the Gulf Coast in an apparent move to bolster the company’s legal defense against anticipated lawsuits related to the Gulf oil spill, according to a report from The Press-Register in Mobile, Ala.
Scientists from Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University and Texas A&M; have reportedly accepted BP’s offer, according to the paper.
The federal government is expected to file a massive Natural Resources Damage Assessment lawsuit against BP, and it’ll have to draw on large amounts of scientific research to build its case.
Robert Wiygul, an Ocean Springs lawyer who specializes in environmental law, said BP is in effect denying the government access to valuable information by hiring the scientists and adding them to its legal team. “It also buys silence,” Wiygul told the Press-Register, “thanks to confidentiality clauses in the contracts.”