Oil research stalled.

Nature gets a little rough with the sloppy White House response to the ongoing Gulf of Mexico mess:

On 15 June, BP announced that it would distribute US$25 million in fast-track funding across three research institutions in its first step towards fulfilling a $500-million pledge for high-priority studies to assess environmental damage from the oil spill.

But on 16 June, the White House issued a vaguely worded statement that could slow the effort. The press release said that BP would consult with “governors, and state and local environmental and health authorities” to design its long-term monitoring programme within the research initiative.

This has left the future of the initiative uncertain, even to members of an independent advisory panel of six scientists that the company had set up to evaluate research proposals and decide how the remaining funds would be divided up.