BP oil spill: White House rewrote drilling ban report

The White House rewrote a department of the interior report to suggest – wrongly – that independent experts had endorsed a six-month ban on deepwater drilling after the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, an official report has said.

The report, from the department’s inspector general, is bound to further inflame Republicans in Congress who have said the ban was politically motivated, and who are demanding an investigation into the White House energy and climate adviser, Carol Browner.

Between 2am and 3am on 27 May, aides to Browner produced two different edits of the executive summary to a report on recommendations for drilling safety. Both versions altered the text significantly to make it appear as if a seven-member panel of scientists and engineers supported the drilling ban.