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Alabama Republican: Cigarettes A Worse Environmental Disaster Than The Oil Spill

If you thought that Joe Barton and Michelle Bachmann had won today’s prize for dumbest comment by a Congressional Republican, well you haven’t met Congressman Parker Griffith of Alabama:

In his opening statement at today’s BP hearing in the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Alabama Republican Parker Griffith downplayed the oil spill:

The greatest environmental disaster in America has been cigarettes … If we’re gonna talk about the environment, let’s be sure we don’t leave that out … The environment is an important concept, and we regret the loss of life, but there’s much we can do. We’ll put this in perspective. This is not going to be the worst thing that ever happened to America.

Video:

The other thing I’d like to remind the committee is that the greatest environmental disaster in America has been cigarettes. Sixty thousand Americans today, this year, will die from cigarette-related cancer. So, if we’re going to talk about the environment, let’s be sure we don’t leave that out. I’m a cancer specialist, by the way, by training, and I never fail to bring that up.

So, the environment is an important concept. We regret the loss of life. But there’s much that we can do, and we’ll put this in perspective. This is not going to be the worst thing that’s ever happened to America.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Griffith lost the Republican primary for his seat and will be leaving office when the current Congress gavels to a close

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

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