In response to the explosion and fire on a Mariner Energy offshore oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Representative Frank Pallone issued a strong statement statement urging action to improve regulation of the offshore drilling industry. Pallone said,
“The environmental and economic damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon disaster hasn’t been fully calculated and we have another explosion and another potential disaster. How many accidents are needed and how much environmental and economic damage must we suffer before we act to contain and control the source of the danger: offshore drilling?… This latest explosion should be taken seriously. It is a clear signal of the ongoing dangers of drilling for oil in coastal waters and a harsh warning of potential accidents in the future. We ignore these warning signs at our own peril.”
Congressman Pallone is from New Jersey. How did members of Congress from coastal Louisiana, where the accident took place, react?
Senator David Vitter expressed his relief that no one was injured in the accident, but expressed no change in policy position as a result of the new offshore drilling explosion.
Senator Mary Landrieu issued no statement at all.
The office of Congressman Steve Scalise, of the 1st congressional district, issued no statement. The Scalise re-election campaign did not issue a statement on the accident either, but did make a statement declaring opposition to efforts to deal with climate change resulting from the burning of fossil fuels.
The office of Congressman Joseph Cao, of the 2nd congressional district, issued no statement. Neither did his campaign post a statement. Cao did talk to a reporter, however, and defended the offshore drilling industry, expressing hopes that there would be no new regulation in response to this accident.
Charles Melancon, who represents the 3rd congressional district, and is running to become U.S. Senator for Louisiana, issued no campaign statement. Neither did his Capitol Hill office.
6th congressional district Representative Bill Cassidy made no statement about the offshore drilling accident either through his re-election campaign or through his congressional office.
Charles Boustany, of the 7th congressional district, the Louisiana district physically closest to the accident, issued no statement at all, through his office or through his re-election campaign. However, Boustany’s campaign did release a recent statement complaining that offshore drilling was not being expanded fast enough in the Gulf of Mexico.
If a member of Congress from New Jersey can respond quickly to a new offshore drilling accident off Louisiana’s shores, why are Louisiana’s representatives in Washington D.C. so slow to respond?