NOAA Official: Three Quarters of the Oil That Was Spilled in the Gulf is Still There, Forget What We Said Before....
Roughly three-quarters of the oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico from BP’s ruptured well is still in the environment, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration official told a House panel Thursday. 

The estimate contrasts previous pronouncements by administration officials that only about a quarter of the oil remains to be addressed. 

Bill Lehr, a senior scientist at NOAA, said at a House Energy and Commerce subpanel hearing Thursday that federal officials have only confirmed that 10 percent of the 4.1 million barrels of oil that leaked into the Gulf have been either skimmed or burned. 

Federal officials used a different estimate of how much oil leaked from the well — 4.9 million barrels — in preparing a report this month saying that only about 25 percent is still left to be recovered in the water. But critics say using that higher baseline skewed the numbers.

This is yet another in a long line of examples where the White House’s pre-occupation with the public relations of the oil spill has superseded the realities on the ground,” he said in a statement. “It is deeply troubling that White House officials apparently preempted the completion and review of a scientific study on the oil spill by NOAA scientists in order to tout conclusions that many experts believe may be deeply flawed.

“I will certainly be demanding the White House name those responsible for releasing this report, why it was released before it was complete, and whether its controversial conclusions have led to changes in Gulf clean-up efforts,” Issa said.