The Sciences

What Happened to BP's $ 500 Million Pledge for Oil Spill Research?

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneySep 7, 2010 2:58 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

I have a new story out for NRDC's OnEarth, about BP's pledge to fund $ 500 million worth of Gulf coast research in the wake of the oil spill, and how that has been ensnared by politics. It starts like this:

For ocean scientists anguished about the oil gushing uncontrollably into the Gulf of Mexico, May 24 brought dramatic news. BP pledged $500 million over 10 years for a research program to determine the ecological consequences of the spill, with the money to be distributed through an independent panel to the "best marine biologists and oceanographers in the world."

More than three months later, however, the vast bulk of that money remains uncommitted, and it's unclear how it will be distributed. Scientists say that thanks to these delays, key research opportunities in the wake of the spill could be missed.

It might seem tempting to simply blame BP. But what happened to the research fund -- or rather, what didn’t -- is a story of how politics and bureaucracy can stall urgent scientific inquiry, even amid an ongoing national and ecological crisis.

You can read the full story here.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Magazine Examples
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.