Politics and the BP Research Dollars

June 28, 2010

BP has committed to spending up to $500 million on research related to the environmental disaster in the Gulf, but many environmental scientists are questioning how those funds will be used. The Los Angeles Times reported that federal officials told the company to involve the governors of affected states in deciding where the grants should go -- and those governors, not surprisingly, want all the money to go to universities in their states. Jörg Imberger, director of the Center for Water Research at the University of Western Australia and one of six scientists recruited by BP to help determine which projects receive funds, told the Times he didn't think the governors should be involved. "I think it's rather unfortunate; everyone is trying to point-score through politics," he said. "To be honest, what does a governor know about this? Their mandate is to bring money into their town or their state."

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