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Menendez: Spill, Not Weather, Caused McCain To Cancel

So why exactly did Sen. John McCain cancel an event yesterday on an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana?

According to the McCain campaign, the event was canceled over weather concerns.

However, that explanation is not sitting well with Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, who claims McCain canceled the event because of a nearby oil spill that dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Mississippi.

“Look up ‘irony’ in the dictionary and you will find a description of this turn of events. Having to cancel your big oil drilling photo op because of a massive oil spill is like canceling a crime safety photo op because the house next door just got robbed," said Menendez.

"In selling his absurd coastline drilling plan to the American people, Sen. McCain has time and again pointed to advanced technology that would supposedly eliminate the threat of massive oil spills. As he can now personally attest, even with the most modern technology, we can’t prevent massive oil spills like the one currently devastating the Mississippi, just as we couldn’t prevent 7.7 million gallons of oil spills after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This is the type of straight talk about oil drilling the American people deserve to hear.”

On Wednesday, a 600-foot tanker and a barge loaded with fuel oil collided near New Orleans, breaking the barge in half. While there were injuries, more than 419,000 gallons of thick oil spilled from the barge, forming a slick 12 miles long.

McCain's critics also pointed to the forecast, which according to called for scattered showers with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms in the New Orleans area.

Menendez has authored legislation to permanently ban drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf, however, McCain has come out in favor of expanding offshore drilling.


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