Experts should guide recovery of the Gulf

While at least a half-dozen of the 34 members of Gov. Haley Barbour’s Mississippi Gulf of Mexico Commission have Ph.Ds, the majority of them are elected officials. Indeed, 11 of the 34 are mayors.
We hope this does not mean that politics will dominate science as the commission evaluates the impact of the BP oil spill and prepares recommendations to submit to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, a former governor of Mississippi who President Barack Obama selected to develop a plan for the recovery of the Gulf region.
“This commission will have a wide charge,” Barbour said, “from determining the impact of the oil spill on Gulf ecosystems to addressing concerns about seafood safety to improving hurricane protection and habitat restoration.”
Each of those items is best left to experts, and the scientists Barbour placed on the commission have considerable expertise.
We hope it will not go unheeded.
This editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board, which consists of President-Publisher Glen Nardi, Vice President and Executive Editor Stan Tiner, Opinion Page Editor B. Marie Harris, Associate Editor Tony Biffle, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Flora S. Point and Marketing Services Director John McFarland. Opinions expressed by columnists, cartoonists and letter writers are their own.

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Aug. 18