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Woman dumps fake oil on herself to protest Gulf liability cap

By the CNN Wire Staff
Police handcuff Diane Wilson on Wednesday after she interrupted a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill.
Police handcuff Diane Wilson on Wednesday after she interrupted a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Woman arrested after dumping oil-like substance on herself at hearing
  • Top Democrats are pushing to lift oil companies' $75 million liability cap
  • Some Republicans warn that lifting the cap will create a monopoly for big oil companies

Washington (CNN) -- Public anguish over the growing oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico took center stage on Capitol Hill on Wednesday as a woman dumped simulated oil on herself during a Senate hearing in a graphic expression of support for legislation lifting oil companies' current liability cap.

"We're tired of the bailouts and we're tired of being dumped on in the Gulf," protester Diane Wilson yelled during the start of a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing.

Wilson, who was arrested, described herself as a fourth-generation shrimper from the Gulf. She interrupted opening remarks by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of several Republicans who have expressed opposition to lifting the $75 million cap.

"I am seeing the destruction of my community and I am outraged," Wilson added in a statement released by the activist group Code Pink. "I am also seeing elected representatives like Sen. Lisa Murkowski blocking BP from being legally responsible to pay for this catastrophe. ... This is outrageous."

Several top congressional Democrats -- with the backing of the White House -- are pushing for a complete removal of the liability cap. Some Republicans, however, have warned that doing so could lead to the creation of a new energy monopoly while increasing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

 
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