PIPELINE RECORD QUESTIONED: Tim Griffin (with Tom Cotton) used his pipeline advocacy as campaign prop in 2012. Now, Democratic Party says hes gone easy on industry, to detriment of residents.

  • PIPELINE RECORD QUESTIONED: Tim Griffin (with Tom Cotton) used his pipeline advocacy as campaign prop in 2012. Now, Democratic Party says he’s gone easy on industry, to detriment of residents.

The Arkansas Democratic Party doesn’t plan to let Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin became a born-again environmentalist without a fight.

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Griffin, an outspoken defender of pipeline construction, has in more recent days been casting himself as a defender of Mayflower residents harmed by the Pegasus pipeline break. He has, however, refused to release all the data he’s received about the pipeline break. And he still faces a difficult balancing act challenging ExxonMobil, which has given him campaign money, and assuring the rest of the country about the conduct of those energy companies that want to build the Keystone XL pipeline.

Today, the Democratic Party called on both Exxon AND Griffin to release information in their possession.

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“The victims of the Mayflower spill deserve transparency and accountability, but both Exxon and Congressman Griffin are refusing to come clean with Mayflower residents,” said Candace Martin of the Democratic Party of Arkansas. “Instead of trying to deflect blame and waging a public relations campaign, Congressman Griffin needs to explain his repeated votes against pipeline safety measures which were designed to prevent disasters like the Mayflower Oil spill.”

Congressman Griffin has repeatedly voted to keep dramatic cuts to pipeline and hazardous material safety programs, and has also opposed requiring oil companies like Exxon to have disaster plans for cleanup and containment in case of an event like the Mayflower spill. Now, months after the spill, “Exxon is still calling the shots, many Mayflower homeowners are still unable to return home and Mayflower residents “are still feeling negative health effects of the spill.”

The Democratic Party, too, highlighted Griffin’s legislative record, notably including cuts to safety programs and against efforts to require more of companies responsible for spills. More from the party follows: