As emergency responders scramble to respond to the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS) is claiming that the public is overreacting to the catastrophe. The spill, which may be pouring up to one million gallons of oil per day into the Gulf, being called perhaps America’s “worst environmental disaster in decades.”
During an interview with Biloxi’s WLOX-TV, Taylor said that the massive oil spill is “not nearly as bad” as he thought it would be and that it “isn’t Katrina. It’s not Armageddon. … A lot of people are scared and I don’t think they should be.” He went on to compare the spill to chocolate milk and said that the oil is “tending to break up naturally.” The host, surprised by Taylor’s optimism, responded by saying the congressman’s viewpoint is “inconsistent…with some of the doomsday reports that we’ve been hearing,” to which Taylor responded, “David, that’s why I’m here”:
TAYLOR: What I want people to know is this isn’t Katrina. This is not Armageddon. I did this for the Coast Guard many years ago. Yeah, it’s bad. And it’s terrible that there’s a spill out there. But I would remind people that the oil is twenty miles from any marsh. … That chocolate milk looking spill starts breaking up in smaller pieces … It is tending to break up naturally.
HOST: As we look for pieces of optimism, and you’ve provided us with some, I still have to say, this is kind of inconsistent your characterization with some of the doomsday reports that we’ve been hearing.
TAYLOR: David, that’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m here, because I’ve had a lot of people stop me … it almost strikes me as the day after Katrina. They’re that concerned. And it’s not, I wish it never happened. Yeah it’s bad out there. But it’s not right on our shore. … And it is tending to break up, the farther you get from the source, and it is a good thing.
Taylor has a history of supporting expanded oil drilling. He has voted to lift the ban on drilling in ANWR and voted against a moratorium on offshore drilling. He also voted against the House’s clean energy bill. (HT: Atrios)