In one of his new TV spots -- titled "Stand" -- GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kirk highlights the Gulf oil spill and portrays himself as an environmental champion. Specifically, he cites his opposition in 2007 to BP's plans to dump wastewater from its Whiting, IN refinery into Lake Michigan. But while Kirk may have stuck his neck out when it came to Lake Michigan, he was a vocal supporter in 2008 of efforts to expand offshore oil drilling in the Gulf, as NBC 5's Ward Room noted back in May:
Kirk’s Senate campaign website boasts that “Mark Kirk stood up to Big Oil when he stopped BP from polluting Lake Michigan.” That’s true. But it’s also true that he stood up for Big Oil’s right to drill in the Gulf of Mexico.
In fact, in June of 2008, we caught Kirk parroting Dick Cheney's false claim that China was drilling off the coast of Cuba (and, therefore, so should well!). In light of both the current disaster in the Gulf and Kirk's record as a serial exaggerator, it's an episode worth revisiting.
UPDATE (11:45 a.m.): Also, here is Illinois Sierra Club executive director Jack Darin's response (via a Giannoulias campaign press release) to Kirk's claim in the ad that he "helped stop BP from polluting" Lake Michigan:
"[This is] another case of Mark Kirk exaggerating his resume... He took a boat
trip and held a press conference, but I think for him to say he stopped
BP is clearly wrong. Unfortunately, Indiana went ahead gave BP the
pollution permit for the pollution we were all so upset about, and
still are. So BP in fact has not been stopped."