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Rep. Charlie Melancon of Louisiana Breaks Down During Oil Spill Testimony

5 years ago
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In a low voice heavy with emotion, Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.) cut short his testimony before a House subcommittee meeting Thursday on the gulf oil spill.

Melancon began by citing the string of natural disasters -- including Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav and Ike -- that have beset his constituents and all Louisianans. With his voice quavering and eyes filling with tears, he said of this latest "slow-motion" catastrophe: "Our culture is threatened, our coastal economy is threatened, and everything that I know and love is at risk. . . .Even though this marsh lies along coastal Louisiana, these are America's wetlands."

The three-term congressman, who is running for the Senate seat held by Republican David Vitter, could not go on, and asked that the remainder of his written comments be submitted for the record.

Charlie MelanconHis testimony came as official estimates of the oil flow from a ruptured pipe on the sea floor vastly increased. Scientists say the BP well is spewing as much as 19,000 barrels a day, far more than the 5,000-a-day estimate that was cited since an explosion more than a month ago on the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform. The new estimate suggests that 17 million to 27 million gallons of oil have flowed the gulf, surpassing the 11 million gallons spilled by the Exxon Valdez in 1989.

Click play below to watch Melancon's full testimony (emotional part begins near the two-minute mark):

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Looks like the South has lossed again. Time to seek Pat Robertson's advice - perhaps?

May 31 2010 at 12:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Senator Melancon cares deeply about the people he represents. I wish all congressmen felt the way he did. It is heartbreaking to watch the oil creep towards the Louisiana shore. Their wetlands and marshes destroyed. Pelicans coated in oil and dead sea turtles on the beaches. People who depend upon the gulf for their jobs are going bankrupt. How much more can the people of this coastline take? All for what? Greed. The oil companies want to make as much money as they possibly can as quickly as they can and they do this without any consideration for the environment or the people of this region. Well, now they have to pay for their GREED and I hope they pay dearly.

May 28 2010 at 3:46 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

Thousands of fisherman, charter boat captains, oystermen, small buisness owners along the coast are ruined! These are entire families that make their living off of the sea, and thier families have done so for generations. Now they have no way to make a living...when will there be some real action...I bet once the oil starts to hit Pensacola and all the other pretty beaches, we will see a sence of urgency to get something done!

May 28 2010 at 1:27 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Blah Blah Blah........ Stop our dependency on oil, stop coal power plants, stop this, stop that. Funny how all these people say stop but for them to go to work, and comment on here they are using the same oil (gasoline) and coal as everyone else. I don't see them riding huffy's and using a can and string to talk back and forth. If they want to preach, practice it. Go back to living by candle light, and horse and carriage transportation. Give up your cell phones, Internet, TV's, car pools to Jimmy's soccer game, etc.... Then you'll get the one that says Oh I have a hybrid. Ummm still use fuel so, your still to blame. But I have an electric car. Well, you still have to plug it in and get that battery charged from those horrible coal, oil, natural gas, or heaven forbid nuclear power plants. I'm not interested in paying 4, 5, 6 bucks a gallon for gas to get back and forth to work and I'm sure 80% of people feel the same way. Drill Baby Drill. I think you should be able to walk from New Orleans to Corpus Christi without getting your feet wet jumping from oil rig to oil rig. Keep my oil, natural gas, nuclear, and coal energy flowing and cheap. I already have to pay way too much of my money in federal, state, and local taxes.

May 28 2010 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to eagle45342697792's comment

Ok, but then I guess you won't mind paying $20-25/lb for fish, crabs and other shellfish after those oil spills continue to destroy the ecosystem and ruin the livelihoods of tens of thousands of your nationals fishermen.

May 28 2010 at 1:23 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply


May 28 2010 at 12:18 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

It is time for all the politicians and political hacks to just shut up. I am tired of hearing about all the "experts" going on television to give their expert opinion. First, we are telling BP to clean up this catastrophy....then in the next breath calling for their incarceration. Secondly, this political blame game must stop. If the members of Congress want to do something, get down there on the next plane and start helping with the's probably the least and I know the only qualified thing they are capable of during because they have failed in oversight and governance. Third, I hope that any investigation does not involve Congress....they are a major part of this problem. This is a problem that may go back as far as three or four administrations....all parties involved should be asked to testify including former presidents and vice-presidents. Finally, if this is not a wakeup call for elimination of our dependence on oil....God help us. Please stop the blame game....HELP OR SHUT UP.....SAVE OUR GULF...STOP DESTROYING GOD'S GIFT TO MANKIND.

May 28 2010 at 11:29 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

America's Wetlands are not only an environmental gem, they provide a large percentage of the seafood produced in this country. Should this valuable area be destroyed by BP's negligence, the U.S. would lose between 65% and 75% of the fish, crabs, shrimp, and oysters produced annually. The residents of this area have made their living in the seafood industry, or businesses that support seafood fishermen, for multiple generations. Entire coastal cities will be wiped out should the worst-case scenario become reality.

May 28 2010 at 10:26 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

He is seeing a lot of suffering and can do little about it. It must be very frustrating.

May 28 2010 at 9:07 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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