Ten days ago, after an explosion occurred on BP's Deepwater Horizon rig off the Gulf Coast, the initial word from the Coast Guard was that there was no oil spill. That soon changed as the government announced that 1,000 barrels of thick oil per day were spilling into the ocean.
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Then, in a dramatic shift on Wednesday evening, the government changed its 1,000 barrels estimate to 5,000 barrels per day. BP initially rejected the new estimate about the spill, which experts now believe could be worse than the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster.
We're sure to learn more in the coming months and years about what the government and BP knew about the scope of the disaster, when they knew it, and whether they responded appropriately. For now, TPMmuckraker decided to take a look at the course of events, and the shifting public statements of company and government officials on the spill.