Reports flooded the Internet Wednesday and Thursday about BP Oil using Coast Guard petty officers to block journalists from documenting the spill.

CBS had originally tried to film a beach near South Pass, Louisiana, but were barred by a boat of BP employees and two Coast Guard officers. Video can be seen here.

When The Huffington Post reported on the incident, Rob Wyman, lieutenant commander of the USCG Deepwater Horizon Unified Command Joint Information Center sent them a statement:

“…Neither BP nor the U.S. Coast Guard, who are responding to the spill, have any rules in place that would prohibit media access to impacted areas and we were disappointed to hear of this incident.

In fact, media has been actively embedded and allowed to cover response efforts since this response began, with more than 400 embeds aboard boats and aircraft to date. Just today 16 members of the press observed clean-up operations on a vessel out of Venice, La.

The only time anyone would be asked to move from an area would be if there were safety concerns, or they were interfering with response operations. This did occur off South Pass Monday which may have caused the confusion reported by CBS.

The entities involved in the Deepwater Horizon/BP Response have already reiterated these media access guidelines to personnel involved in the response and hope it prevents any future confusion.”

Regardless of what Mr. Wyman says, this is not an isolated incident and there do appear to be rules in place that are barring the independent reporting of this horrific international disaster.

Brett Michael Dykes of Yahoo! (twitter handle @thecajunboy) called BP’s Louisiana press office and had his call fielded by a Coast Guard petty officer. He asked the Twitterverse, “are servicemen answering phones for BP now?”

(It should be noted that the Coast Guard is not under Department of Defense jurisdiction, but rather an arm of the Department of Transportation and Department of Homeland Security.)

Mr. Wyman’s statement talks about the media who are “allowed” to cover response efforts. What happened to free and open access for journalists? What happened to independent objective coverage? The media covering the spill are approved by BP. Considering the magnitude of this disaster and the misinformation that continues to spill out of BP’s mouth regarding the amount of oil that is gushing out on a daily basis, independent coverage is a necessity for this disaster.

BP maintains that a mere 5,000 barrels leak per day. But NPR research and analysis from environmental and mechanical engineering experts show the rate is much higher – between 56,000 and 84,000 barrels per day. To put it into perspective, the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989 spilled roughly 10.8 million gallons of oil, or 250,000 barrels. If 50,000 barrels have been gushing out a day, we exceeded the Valdez spill in five days. We’re now at 30.

If we continue at this pace for much longer, the amount of oil spilled will rival the 1991 Persian Gulf War spill, which spilled roughly 11 million gallons.

Enough is enough. BP has been dragging their feet for a month on fixing what will likely be the greatest environmental disaster in American history. They were drilling for profit and their priorities have not changed. 30 days and we can’t fix this? Absolutely nothing can be done to stem the flow? It’s hard to believe BP and all the engineering experts can’t come up with a way to plug the leak when we’ve sent men to the moon.

Allow independent reporting. Allow external help from those who are willing to give it. And finally, put profits aside and realize this is bigger and deeper than you have allowed to be published and do everything in your power to end this now. None of us believe your “efforts,” thus far.

Everything is at stake.