In November 2012, BP agreed to pay $4.5 billion in fines and plead guilty to criminal charges related to the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster. As part of their plea agreement, company executives admitted they had misled Congress and the American public by providing false information about the extent of the oil spill.
BP fudged the numbers in a big way, which left some researchers wondering how accurately “minor” oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico were being reported by the dozens of other companies with leases to drill.
Oceanographers at Florida State University (FSU) teamed up with SkyTruth, a West Virginia nonprofit that uses satellite images to track environmental pollution, to assess whether “minor” oil spills were being minimized in official documentation.
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