A man readies his small shrimping skiff before a run through a bayou near DuLarge, La.
A man readies his small shrimping skiff before a run through a bayou near DuLarge, La. - 
Listen To The Story


BOB MOON: Months ago British oil company BP promised $500 million for scientists to study the oil spill's impact -- No strings attached. Now there are some.

From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Eve Troeh reports.

EVE TROEH: A panel of national scientists was supposed to dole out BP's money. Now, Gulf State Governors will have a big hand in that, and local labs will get priority. Some national labs say that means BP won't be funding the best science. It'll be helping Gulf politicians take care of their own.

GEORGE CROZIER: My response would be that "their own" are competent and ready to do this job.

George Crozier runs the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama. He says bigger labs would normally get most of the money. And that's not fair.

CROZIER: I'm sorry, helping the region looks like a reasonably good objective to me.

In the wake of the spill, federal agencies are likely to fund more national research, so says Scott Pegau at Alaska's Oil Spill Recovery Institute. And he says scientists shouldn't be surprised BP's appeasing locals.

SCOTT PEGAU: You're not gonna necessarily get the best science, but you may get the most appropriate science.

By that, he means BP's acting on a moral obligation. It wants to fund local labs that can best study the ecosystems that the spill hurt the most.

I'm Eve Troeh for Marketplace.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Eve Troeh at @evetroeh