GOP congressmen: Repairing oil pipes with trash bags and duct tape is an "innovative" solution

"We're damned if we do and damned if we don't"

Lindsay Abrams
May 21, 2014 11:25PM (UTC)

Patching up leaky oil pipes with trash bags and duct tape isn't an insufficient, lazy and potentially dangerous way to protect wildlife refuges, say two Louisiana congressmen. In fact, the DIY repair work is downright "innovative."

HuffPost has this mind-boggling takeaway from a recent hearing before the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs, which pitted Republican Reps. Vance McAllister and John Fleming against Noah Matson, a Democratic witness from the conservation group Defenders of Wildlife. Confronted with photos taken by Fish and Wildlife Service officials -- of "oil-slicked ponds, abandoned, leaky drums" and the duct tape patches, both congressmen complained that their time was being wasted.


"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, who used to work in the oil and pipeline business before being elected to Congress, told Matson.

"We're damned if we do and damned if we don't," he went on. "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."

Ignoring the fact that repairs made with plastic bags and duct tape -- one that, according to Matson, appeared to be a year old -- was maybe not the safest way to deal with a major environmental threat, McAllister complained: "It just aggravates me that the body of Congress would be wasted with someone coming up and taking pictures of something that shows that it is fixed."


Lindsay Abrams

MORE FROM Lindsay AbramsFOLLOW readingirl

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

House Republicans Oil And Gas Oil Pipelines Oil Spill Wildlife

Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •