When Senator Lisa Murkowski, the ranking member of the Energy and
Natural Resources Committee, started speaking today at yet another
Congressional hearing on the Gulf oil spill, it was anything but
business-as-usual. Her words got drowned out by a piece of political
theater, courtesy of a Texas shrimper and long-time activist.
The packed hearing room watched as Diane Wilson stood up and started
pouring oil from a jar on herself. She wanted to protest the Alaska
Senator's efforts to block legislation that would lift the cap on
liability payments for oil spills in the Gulf, and Murkowski's resolution, up for a vote tomorrow,
aimed at stopping EPA from regulating greenhouse gases through the Clean
"The police grabbed her right away and took her away," Medea Benjamin of
activist group CODEPINK, who was in the hearing room, told
SolveClimate. She was supporting the action, holding up a sign that read
"Murkowski = Big Oil."
Guards told Benjamin she could stay in the hearing room if she put away
her sign, as the spill was cleaned up and order restored. It turned out
that the substance in the jar was not oil at all, but carob syrup.
"Diane didn't want to be like BP and really spill oil," Benjamin said,
explaining that Wilson was out to provide lawmakers with a visceral
experience of what it's like to have oil dumped on you.
...Read more at SolveClimate