US: Politics embroil gulf research grants

University professors in the gulf region responded with delight to BP's pledge to put up $500 million for academic research into the Gulf of Mexico's ecology over the next 10 years, writes Julie Cart for the Los Angeles Times. With no significant federal grants on the horizon and an urgency to begin work, some of the academics had taken to using their own credit cards in hopes they would soon be reimbursed.

But their excitement at the windfall turned to chagrin late last month after the White House ordered BP to consult with Gulf Coast governors before awarding research grants. Elected officials in the region responded by demanding that the financial bonanza not spread beyond their own state universities, potentially leaving out such distinguished oceanographic institutions as Woods Hole in Massachusetts and Scripps in San Diego.
Full report on the Los Angeles Times site