by Max Brantley
Ernie Dumas writes this week on the Mayflower oil spill, beginning by musing, a la Pat Robertson/Jerry Falwell/etc., whether a divine hand might have had an influence. An oil spill smack in the middle of a district of pipeline advocate U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin and tireless energy cheerleader Sen. Jason Rapert? What are the odds?
Dumas is a little tongue-in-cheek on the divine intervention part. But the raw politics? That's straight-up obvious.
He outlines Griffin's shameless advocacy for pipeline construction with huge campaign money in his pocket from the energy industry, including the Koch brothers, and Griffin's good fortune the Exxon Mobil Pegasus pipeline didn't rupture a few miles farther south, in the Lake Maumelle water supply that the Koch brothers are fighting to keep outside the realm of solid regulation.
As it was, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette gave Griffin space on its op-ed page to extol the work of Exxon and others in cleaning up the site and assuring people that he was going to see that Exxon stayed on the job until people were satisfied. Griffin won’t push Exxon too hard or else its PAC won’t renew its campaign gift to him. He denounced people for using the oil spill to score political points and said he was staying away from politics.
Then he attacked everyone who were alarmed by the spill and those who objected to the Keystone pipeline’s crossing sensitive areas on the western plains as people who do not want Americans to have affordable energy or to prosper.
Tim Griffin play politics? He has never done anything else.