In the wake of the Lake Michigan BP oil spill, former congressman and candidate in the 10th congressional district race Bob Dold is getting some heat for his voting record on oil spill safety.
Dold, a one-term congressman who was unseated by current opponent U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL,10), voted against a bill that would have required companies to have a disaster plan in place for oil spills.
“Republican Bob Dold repeatedly put corporate profits ahead of the safety of our communities and protecting the environment,” said Jamie Patton, Schneider for Congress Campaign Manager. “Events like the recent oil spill in Lake Michigan serve as a reminder of how irresponsible Dold's votes were for protecting our environment and a community that depends on the Great Lakes. Illinois families deserve leaders like Congressman Brad Schneider who has consistently stood up to protect our environment from potential threats.”
Schneider was recently endorsed by the Sierra Club in the 10th district race, and received a 100 percent environmental voting record on the group's latest scorecard. Schneider has introduced bills to protect the Great Lakes from invasive species and "safeguard" the waters from oil and gas drilling. While in office, Dold voted to permit drilling in Lake Michigan, cut $250 million from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and voted against a measure that would have required the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate air pollution affecting the Great Lakes. In 2012, Dold received a paltry 34 percent score from the League of Conservation Voters.
Meanwhile, in other Illinois environmental news, BP increased its estimate of the amount of crude oil that made its way into Lake Michigan as a result of Monday afternoon's oil spill. Now, the company is reporting that 39 barrels, or some 1,638 gallons, of oil were discharged into the lake. This afternoon, protesters in Chicago rallied against BP, citing particular concerns about the oil giant in light of this week's oil spill.
"This serves as further evidence that the reliance on fossil fuels in all its forms has serious and long term effects on the health of the planet and the people who inhabit," reads a press release from the Global Climate Convergence and environmental groups that took part in today's action. "This is doubly true in the case of the processing or tar sands that goes on at BP’s Whiting facility. This most current spill comes after years of legal challenges to the Whiting plant that is one of the largest sources of industrial pollution in the nation."