Exclusive: Professor who downplayed oil spill has federal government contracts

Investigation also finds BP telling university what to research

Quoted in scores of news outlets, appearing on dozens of network news programs and even landing a guest spot on The Late Show with David Letterman, oil spill expert Ed Overton has been a ubiquitous presence in the media throughout the Gulf oil spill disaster.

Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science at Louisiana State University, Overton, who has been criticized for downplaying the effects of the worst offshore oil spill in history, has also headed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s chemical hazard assessment team for over 25 years.

Yet in nearly every media appearance, and even during congressional testimony, Overton, an environmental chemist, has omitted this long-term, high-level contracting position for the federal government through LSU, a Raw Story investigation has found.

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