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Federal Investigator Charged White House BP Stonewall

by Keith Koffler on May 9, 2012, 8:51 am

A senior federal investigator accused the White House of having stonewalled a probe into whether an administration report on the April 2010 BP oil spill was doctored by the White House to show President Obama’s deepwater drilling moratorium was backed by outside experts, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

The revelation of the charges comes at an unwelcome time for Obama as he tries to tout job gains and claim success at expanding drilling. The deepwater ban established soon after the spill, along with a decline in permitting for shallow water drilling, cost thousands of jobs.

The White House and the Department of Interior said the claim in the May 2010 report that experts backed the ban was an editing mistake, but the investigator, according to emails he sent in 2010 and 2011, believed otherwise. From the Times-Picayune story:

In one email obtained by The Times-Picayune, Richard Larrabee, senior special agent assigned to investigate the matter for the Department of Interior’s inspector general, wrote: “I truly believe the editing ‘WAS’ intentional — by an overzealous staffer at the White House. And, if asked, I, as the case agent, would be happy to state that opinion to anyone interested.” Larrabee declined Monday to comment on the emails.

Larrabee, a special agent assigned to investigate the misinformation in the report for the Department of Interior’s inspector general, also charged that the Secretary of Interior’s office denied investigators full access to “records, reports, audits, review documents, papers, and recommendations of other material.”

An Interior official told the Times-Picayune that the agency provided “all the relevant documents that were requested.”

Larrabee was seeking to interview Joe Aldy, a White House official involved in last-minute editing of the report. But the White House refused and Interior officials did not have authority to compel it to comply.

The experts comprised a panel that was established soon after the spill to advise the Obama administration on what to do about offshore safety in the wake of the disaster. The May 27, 2010 report by Interior Secretary Salazar to Obama said the panel had “peer reviewed” Salazar’s recommendation for a six-month moratorium on all ongoing drilling deeper than 500 feet.

That provoked outrage from panel members who said they had not agreed that such strict measures were warranted.

The House Natural Resources Committee is investigating the affair.

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{ 12 comments }

Wigglesworth May 9, 2012 at 8:58 am

The most transparent administration ever!

Mike C May 9, 2012 at 9:53 am

It’s transparent alright. Maybe the sheeple can SEE THROUGH this dirty administration at last.
As an Illinois-ian, I always figured the Chicago way would not stand up to federal scrutiny. I hope it is happening, what with these issues and Holder etc.

Cooper May 9, 2012 at 9:38 am

Anything is fair when it comes to slapping around Big Oil and killing jobs. All this dovetails nicely with the EPA puke who said it was their job to crucify oil companies into compliance. Yup, gotta agree, most transparent administration ever!

Susan May 9, 2012 at 10:18 am

The EPA is ruthless. That little weasel, Al Armendariz, not only talked about crucifying oil companies, he tried it with Range Resources, a Ft. Worth based oil drilling company that helped develop hydraulic fracking. The EPA dragged this company through the courts for more than a year and a half for supposedly violating environmental rules and regulations before one Federal judge finally told the EPA to put up some scientific evidence or shut up. The EPA just dropped their case in March after forcing this company to spend millions in legal fees defending non-existent violations of environmental law. Old Al may be gone from the EPA but his fellow travelers will find a place for him in one of Soros’ organizations.

MT for re-redistribution May 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Yep, “Big Oil” and the “One-Percenters” want to kill your babies. They are all just murdering psychotic madmen bent on the destruction of all human life. Full of hatred and venom, they plot death and mayhem with the few lucid thoughts they have. Once they kill your babies while making you watch, they will laugh at you until they are breathless as you weep.

Girly1 May 9, 2012 at 10:01 am

“The White House and the Department of Interior said the claim in the May 2010 report that experts backed the ban was an editing mistake,”

An ‘editing mistake’? LOL! They would have been better off blaming it on Bush or the tsunami! And why, pray tell, was the Judicial order to lift the ban completely ignored by the Liar-in–Chief? What a bunch of idiots!

Cooper May 9, 2012 at 10:26 am

Your quite right, it is never an ‘editing mistake’, just a bald faced lie from professional liars. I forgot about the judicial order to lift the ban that was ignored. Makes me wonder if a SCOTUS ruling on Obamacare that Skinny finds objectionable is ignored. I guess we will see next month, can hardly wait. I dearly hope he gets pistol whipped by SCOTUS, oops, that is so politcally incorrect, my bad.

ArnoldLayne May 9, 2012 at 10:38 am

Off Topic: Go Keith Judd – and ‘they’ said the Republican primary candidates were a circus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MT for re-redistribution May 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm

BINGO!!!!!

lcsouthern May 9, 2012 at 10:47 am

This administration has stone walled on many issues. When they get questions they don’t like they come up with a crisis to distract the MSM and apparently its working for them.

GWShrub May 9, 2012 at 10:51 am

The great Liar-In-Chief…..once again.

I pray that the truth be revealed.

Just2old May 9, 2012 at 11:08 am

People tend to forget that the reason BP and others were drilling such deep wells is because the green tree huggers forced them that far out. They brought this whole mess upon us and the WH made things worse by an “editing mistake”?