In a recent congressional hearing about oil and gas operations in national wildlife refuges, Noah Matson, the vice president of Defenders of Wildlife, had the temerity to display pictures of oil pipelines shoddily repaired with duct tape and garbage bags as if that were a bad thing. Luckily, Republican Reps. Vance McAllister and John Fleming, both from Louisiana, were there to set the record straight.
While Matson seemed to believe haphazard repairs, leaky oil drums, and oil-slicked ponds in Louisiana wildlife refuges were proof that we’d run off the rails, McAllister and Fleming realized this was just good ol’ Yankee engineering, you know, like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
Here’s Huffington Post’s account of the hearing, before the House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs:
The GOP members seemed more concerned with the activities of the regulators and environmental groups than the drillers.
“I see those pictures, and understand how a picture is worth a thousand words,” said McAllister, who worked in the oil technology and pipeline business before he won a special election to Congress last year.
“You took a picture of someone who was innovative, and rather than leaving the fluid to drip on the ground, repaired it with duct tape and a garbage bag, and yet you seem to be very upset about that,” McAllister told [Matson].
“We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t,” McAllister added. “We take a garbage bag and fix it and keep it from leaking and yet you’re still not happy, and come to Washington and testify before Congress and want to throw fits because some guy took initiative.”
I mean, some of those plastic-bag repair jobs had been in place for as long as a year, so there’s clearly nothing to worry about. They probably used Glad, not those crappy off-brand garbage bags. Oh dear God, did someone make sure they used Glad?
McAllister, who is resigning after a video of him embracing a staffer went public, recently told Politico he might run again. Presumably he will be distributing bumper stickers with the slogan, “If you can’t duck it, fuck it,” and a picture of a national park.