You’ve got to watch this short clip from the CBS Evening News, in which Coast Guard personnel order a film crew away from a piece of oil-soaked Louisiana coastland on orders from British Petroleum, whose contractors were on the boat with the Guard. “This is BP’s rules, not ours,” said the Coast Guardsman, threatening to arrest the journalists. Here’s the clip:

Watch CBS News Videos OnlineJust who does the U.S. Government work for? British Petroleum, or the American taxpayer? And where does the Coast Guard get off telling journalists that they cannot go somewhere and take pictures because a private corporation doesn’t want them to? If it was BP’s land, that would be understandable. But it wasn’t. So what’s that all about? Does the government now agree that the power of the state should be used to assist the public affairs department of British Petroleum in managing this story? This is really outrageous.UPDATE: Scientists increasingly cheesed off at the administration for not giving them access to the well site. Emphases below mine:

The scientists point out that in the month since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, the government has failed to make public a single test result on water from the deep ocean. And the scientists say the administration has been too reluctant to demand an accurate analysis of how many gallons of oil are flowing into the sea from the gushing oil well. “It seems baffling that we don’t know how much oil is being spilled,” Sylvia Earle, a famed oceanographer, said Wednesday on Capitol Hill. “It seems baffling that we don’t know where the oil is in the water column.”


The big scientific question now is what is happening in deeper water. While it is clear that water samples have been taken, the results have not been made public. Lisa P. Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, told Congress on Wednesday that she was pressing for the release of additional test results, including some samples taken by boats under contract to BP.

OK, look: you are the administration of the EPA. You don’t have the authority to make these test results public? Who is sitting on this information, and why? Outrageous. As someone said on a radio report I heard yesterday, this may be BP’s well, but it’s the public’s ocean.

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