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Don Young: Gulf Oil Spill 'Not An Environmental Disaster'

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Don't worry about the oil spilling into the Gulf, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) says, because the worst spill in U.S. history is "not an environmental disaster," just nature taking its course.

"This is not an environmental disaster, and I will say that again and again because it is a natural phenomenon," Young said after Congressional hearings last week. "Oil has seeped into this ocean for centuries, will continue to do it. During World War II there was over 10 million barrels of oil spilt from ships, and no natural catastrophe. ... We will lose some birds, we will lose some fixed sealife, but overall it will recover."

Young, of course, has notoriously close and longstanding ties with oil companies, and went on to criticize the Obama administration's stated moratorium on new offshore drilling permits in the wake of the Gulf spill.

The Alaska Republican has already taken heat for those comments from his challengers on both sides of the aisle. "The man is an ostrich," Democrat Harry Crawford said. "He has his head in the sand if he can't see that this is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, man-made disaster in history."

Republican challenger John Cox acknowledged, "We know there's a problem. We know that this is a major disaster."

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