BP trying to legally ‘contaminate’ Gulf scientists: report

A BP plan to hire Gulf scientists could mean that there are fewer experts to testify against them when the oil spill case goes to trial.

The University of South Alabama turned down a BP offer to hire the entire marine science department after they obtained a copy of the contracts. Mobile’s Press-Register reports:

The Press-Register obtained a copy of a contract offered to scientists by BP. It prohibits the scientists from publishing their research, sharing it with other scientists, or speaking about the data that they collect for at least the next three years.

BP plans to fight a lawsuit to be filed by the Natural Resources Damage Assessment, according to Press-Register‘s Ben Raines. Putting Gulf scientists on the payroll could mean there are less experts to testify against them.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow compares the tactic to an episode of The Sopranos where Tony Soprano consults with top lawyers so his wife isn’t able to hire them in a divorce case.

I’m thinking it is time I move forward with the divorce proceedings,” Carmen Soprano told a potential lawyer.

“Ms. Soprano, I’m afraid I’m going to have to cut you short. As far as handling it, I’m afraid I have to recuse myself,” the lawyer responded.

“Actually, your husband has been in to see me for a consultation last year,” the lawyer said.

“I don’t understand this. Why is my husband so picky? He talked to seven or eight of the top divorce attorneys in New Jersey,” said a frustrated Carmen Soprano.

“I understand your frustration. If you like, I can recommend a colleague. Someone your husband hasn’t contaminated,” the lawyer recommended.

Maddow explained that “contaminated” is the perfect verb to “understand what BP has been trying to do to scientists on the Gulf Coast.”

“It makes me feel like they were more interested in making sure we couldn’t testify against them than in having us testify for them,” George Crozier, head of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab told the Press-Register

Read full link and watch video here.


I wear many hats but history, economics and political observance have always been a passion. I am a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Business with a degree in Information Systems and Digital Business with a minor in European History. I work for a small mom-and-pop IT consulting and software design company. We deal in servicing mostly government funded non-profit mental and behavioral health care agencies in the state of Ohio. In this I deal with Medicaid and Medicare funds and have a little insight on the boondoggles of government there. Thankfully the undemanding nature of my daily profession gives me ample time to read and stay aware of our current state of affairs which I find stranger than fiction in many instances. In addition to being in the IT field, I have also been self employed with a small contracting company so I might know a thing or two about the plight of small business that employs 71% of the American workforce. I however don't draw my knowledge from my day jobs, which I have had a few; I draw it from an intense obsession with facts and observation about the world in which I live. I do have formal education in things such as history, economics and finance particularly as it pertains to global issues, but I have come to find much of what I thought I knew from the formalities of a state university I had to unlearn through much time and independent research. I hope you enjoy what I bring you which is not often heard in the mainstream news outlets. I would like to think my own personal editorializing is not only edifying but thought provoking while not at all obnoxious. That last one may be a hard to achieve.

1 Comment

  1. Deborah

    July 22, 2010 at 7:41 am

    The most shocking part of this situation is not that BP is trying to buy the scientists, but that some scientists are actually willing to be bought. Shame on them!
    Good for the folks at the University of South Alabama for sticking by their ethics and not allowing money to blind them! Thank you!

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