News of the WeekGulf Oil Spill

The Case of the Missing $470 Million in BP's Promised Research Fund

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Science  20 Aug 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5994, pp. 888-889
DOI: 10.1126/science.329.5994.888-b

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On 24 May, as scientists fretted about what the oil gushing out of BP's blown Macondo well might do to deep-sea corals, wetland birds, and young fish, BP pledged $500 million over the next 10 years to support independent research to answer such questions. But just 3 weeks later, a presidential directive put the money on hold. Now that 2 months have passed with few clues about the fate of the money, scientists are worried that what many saw as their best hope for a long-term, comprehensive research plan will disappear along with the oil slick.