June 9th, 2010
02:22 PM ET
11 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. Video Guy

    Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, is she in the same big oil pocket as Sarah Palin?

    June 9, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. one voice

    75 million is a drop in the bucket compaired to the billions BP makes every year. These Corporations will think twice before doing cost cutting measures to bypass safety and enviornmental devistation if there is NO CAP. Prosecute these greedy bastards.

    June 9, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. hayden zeke

    Wish she had dumped it on Murkowski

    June 9, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. KenneyP

    Republicans warn that we could have a 'BIGGER' monoply than what we already have? Are they saying that we will increase on dependency on foreign oil becuase they won't encourage alternative energy? Why because they are in the back pockets of these big companies with thousands of multple streams of income. Unfortunately I have not seen one these big companies in the voting booths in Novemember. Usually it is the American people in the booth and big companies buying their ears. What a system!!

    June 9, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Remember the Alamo

    She is dumping it on the wrong person. She should be dumping it on OBAMA and watch him run to tell his boss OSAMA BIN LADEN. This is a dangerous man to the United States.

    June 9, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. Tom-Vermillion, Ohio

    For those Republicans who oppose lifting the $75 million cap, where do you folks suggest the '$Billions' part of the clean-up comes from? Taxpayer money perhaps? Aren't you so called 'conservatives' against using taxpayer money for such 'liberal nonsense' as restoration of the Gulf? Your arithmetic calculator must work a lot differently than the rest of ours. As for the lady, soft chocolate syrup would be healthier and more realistic.

    June 9, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. Robert J

    Strange? This woman is arrested for truthfully expressing herself about the criminal acts that have been perputated against her. This while people who call our President a liar in the halls of congress on national TV, BP officials, Bush, Cheney, Rice, Delay and various other notorious Republican crooks and criminals commit heinous crimes against our country ,and against humanity globally . Yet they walk around arrogantly free and rich at our expense. Is this a miscarrariage of justice and simply disgusting or what!

    June 9, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  8. Meka


    June 9, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. vegage

    This is another example of republicans siding with big interest. They prefer to see our country being destructed by disasters like this one than to stop defending the big interests. They will be judged by history.

    June 9, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. IEK

    BP isn't limited by the cap. There are sub-sections of the law that remove the cap in certain situations. For one, they have to pay 100% of the clean-up costs, which are not covered under any cap and closing in on $1B. Also, if BP or ANY of their contractors acted with negligence or failed to meet Federal regulations, they aren't covered by the $75M cap. This is pretty much a sure thing. So their liability to the states for lost Tax revenues and businesses for lost income, etc is not capped. They will be paying big bucks before this is all done.

    So congrats on covering yourself in oil for no reason!

    June 9, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Angus McDugan

    I think we all know why there are liability caps. Politicians have sent their kids to college and bought nice homes because of this for a long time.

    June 9, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  12. Lorraine

    For many people, including myself, "anguish" is the right word. It is heartbreaking to see what is happening in the gulf....and I know I feel very helpless as this crap just keeps gushing out gallons by the second.

    June 9, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  13. Naqib

    Can you make a retroactive a law after the fact... or would it be for the next guys...
    Of course that won't happen... once they make it illegal to get oil near the US or make US companies move out... we can just pay 10 bucks a gallon buying it from the middle east... giving them more money for their favorite charity groups...

    June 9, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Liberal4Obama

    The GOP has no shame.

    June 9, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. Steph

    If BP doesn't pay for all the clean up, lost wages, etc..., who do you think will? Yup, all of us, the tax payers. So, now I'm a bit confused about the Republicans' values. They are outraged that taxpayers may have to help another citizen pay for the cost of cancer treatments, but they are fine with taxpayers paying to clean up a HUGE mess that an multi-billion dollar international oil company created. REALLY????

    June 9, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. NVa Native

    The oil spill issue is a very clear representation of who each political party supports.
    The Repubs support big oil companies = corporate profits/interests.
    Dems support the people = small business, employees, service workers, military and other govt workers, etc., and the environement we work and live in.
    Although the right wing TV & radio celebrities want to blur or confuse reality – it is a very clear choice.

    June 9, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. katiec

    Voters, note and do not forget any republican that endorses the 75 million cap for oil companies.
    They cannot be elected to represent the American people as they, as most republicans, have sold us out to big business.

    June 9, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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