June 9th, 2010
02:22 PM ET
8 years ago

Woman dumps fake oil on herself to protest Gulf liability cap


Protester Diane Wilson dumps oil on herself during a Senate hearing. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - Public anguish over the growing oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico took center stage on Capitol Hill on Wednesday as a woman dumped simulated oil on herself during a Senate hearing in a graphic expression of support for legislation lifting oil companies' current liability cap.

"We're tired of the bailouts and we're tired of being dumped on in the Gulf," protester Diane Wilson yelled during the start of a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing.

Wilson, who was arrested, described herself as a fourth-generation shrimper from the Gulf. She interrupted opening remarks by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of several Republicans who have expressed opposition to lifting the $75 million cap.

"I am seeing the destruction of my community and I am outraged," Wilson added in a statement released by the activist group Code Pink. "I am also seeing elected representatives like Sen. Lisa Murkowski blocking BP from being legally responsible to pay for this catastrophe. ... This is outrageous."

Several top congressional Democrats - with the backing of the White House - are pushing for a complete removal of the liability cap. Some Republicans, however, have warned that doing so could lead to the creation of a new energy monopoly while increasing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Updated: 5:44 p.m.

Filed under: Energy
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I'm sure this woman used some form of oil like a car, airplane for travel unless someone took a video of her peddling a bike or walking to Washington. People are nuts.

    June 9, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski is the biggest sell-out in all of Congress. She is nothing more than a servant of Big Oil and a tool devoid of any real ideas.

    June 9, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. ramtruck2500

    How could anyone be against lifting the liability caop?? Why should we the people pay for the excesses of the good ole free market??? I think I would have done something a lot worse to make the point UNBE:IEVABLE

    June 9, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. shannon

    I'm glad diane wilson did that. I'm not personally affected by the oil spill but I feel sorry for the people who are. Bp and the other company needs to be held responsible.

    June 9, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. chris

    Once again, Republicans show they care about giant corporations then they do about people.

    June 9, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. kimberly

    When will these people learn that repukes dont CARE about shrimpers or the earth, ONLY money, and they are ALL in the pockets of big oil, they are pigs!

    June 9, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. get real

    You have to hand it to the Code Pink Ladies. They know how to make a splash!! (sorry, I couldn't resist)

    June 9, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. Michael from Ventura

    The gop had better listen to these people- and Americans in general. PEOPLE take presidence over BIG OIL-and CORPORATIONS. Period.

    June 9, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. Art

    Once again, whose side are the Republicans on? Clear as night and day.

    June 9, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. sharon

    Give some members of Congress money and they will vote for the devil himself If those irresponsible, corrupt Republicans like Murkowsk keep blocking efforts to up the money,, and BP will get by with pennies. They need to clean house in Novemeber and that means both parties. The dinosaurs need to go and so do the Demints, Kyl's, Corynin, Hatch, Reid, McConnell, etc. But according to Haley Barbour everything is fine ib Louisianna and the media is making a mountain out of a mole hill. He invites everyons to Louisiana because the water and beaches are fine.

    June 9, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |

    Ok the GOP is quick to criticize POTUS on the BP disaster as stated in another post from Steel but yet when it comes time to hold BP responsible for every cent they don't want to do that. Makes you wonder how many Repub have interest in BP or big oil. This is a bunch of crap comming from the GOPERs and the TEABEGGERS.

    June 9, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  12. Dave

    Of course the GOP doesn't want to lift the liability cap. I sure didn't see that coming! They wouldn't want to give the impression that they actually care about people versus big corporate interests.

    June 9, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  13. eyes rolling

    "I am seeing the destruction of my community and I am outraged" Get in line lady.

    June 9, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. S Callahan

    I ponder....do you think the cleaners can give a clear message to the President of the effects of oil....maybe that is what is needed.

    US needs to have hands off on the Gaza sitiuation.....I think we have had enough hurricanes, oil spills, floods, ice/snow storms for a decade.....

    June 9, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. David in Houston

    "Some Republicans, however, have warned that doing so could lead to the creation of a new energy monopoly while increasing U.S. dependence on foreign oil"

    ...according to the oil & gas industry lobbyists they represent.

    June 9, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. Dano

    It will be interesting to see if the Republicans will continue to protect their Big Oil donors in the face of fierce public opposition. The idea that removing the liability cap would increase U.S. dependency on foreign oil is laughable. How much more dependent can we be when we consume 25% of the worlds oil but produce only about 2% of it domestically? If they are serious about reducing our dependency they would wholeheartedly support development of alternative energy sources rather than continuing on with the status quo.

    June 9, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  17. Peace

    The destruction of environment is far worse than living a huge debt to the future generation. They can pay back the debt but they can never retrieve the environment once it is done.

    June 9, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  18. geecee

    Of course, Repubicans defending and protecting the rights of the oil industry. What else do you expect? Anyone ever known them to protect the rights and defend the middle class American taxpaying citizen from being steam-rolled? Doubtful.

    June 9, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. Mickey, NY

    I'd like to know where Dick Cheney fits in with all this, after all it was Halliburton that provided the blowout preventer, was it not?

    Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is a pig, just like Palin..plain and simple, just as is Oklahoma Sen. James M. Inhofe. They BOTH voted down this proposal floated by the democratic legislature.

    And the terrorist Republicans REFUSE to step in and castrate BP, and all the other oil companies, stating the removal of the liability cap would hurt "Mom and Pop" oil businesses. Since when is an oil company a Mom and Pop" business? What about the true mom and pop businesses all along the Gulf shore that are going to be bankrupted by this negligence?

    And of course there is their ever-present "Chicken Little" defense: "Some Republicans, however, have warned that doing so could lead to the creation of a new energy monopoly while increasing U.S. dependence on foreign oil."

    This is complete and utter B.S.

    June 9, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  20. Scott in IA

    There you go folks...keep voting for the GOP to cover the corporations backs while giving a flying hoot about us working folks. Why voters, especially the middle to lower class, can't see the hypocrisy in the actions and inactions of the GOP is beyond me! They keep being blinded by the rhetoric I guess. Short memories are dangerous.

    June 9, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |

    Obama and congress need get off their butts and send the $400 million in aid they want to send to the terrorist group hamas in palestine to our own people, who are suffering because of this oil spill.The money is needed to combat the oil, not finance more terrorists. Just whose side are they on anyway. I would rather my money stay in the states.

    June 9, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    The GOP position on this is not surprising at all. They support large corporations in general and big oil specifically.

    Some should notice this is the same position as the tort reform 'solution' to health care. By all means don't let the victim sue for just compensation even if their lives have been ruined.

    June 9, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  23. Get A Grip

    Sure feel sorry for the officer. What a mess this hack must have left on him. If it turns out he has to buy a new uniform I sure they make this lady pay for it.

    June 9, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  24. Chuck

    deregulation, and capped liabilities. Thank you republican party. We appreciate all that you have done for the oil companies!!!!!!!!!!

    June 9, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. valwayne

    I'd normally call something like this a little silly, but given the incompetence of the Obama administration in dealing with the oil spill so far you can hardly blame people for acting out!!!

    June 9, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
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