North Dakota Lawmaker Appears In Pipeline-Bashing MSNBC Segment

Rep. Corey Mock (D-Doesn’t Live In His District Any More) appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show this evening on MSNBC to tout his efforts to bring back legislation mandating the use of flow meters and automatic cutoffs for pipelines in the wake of three recent pipeline spills.

After watching the clip, you have to wonder if Mock is kind of wishing he hadn’t agreed to the booking.

First, Maddow spent most of the segment hyperventilating about pipeline safety in general, and crafting the recent spills in Montana and North Dakota into an argument against the Keystone pipeline (because shipping all the oil by rail is safer, I guess?). The Keystone pipeline is pretty important to North Dakota. So important that the only Democrat elected to statewide office in the state – Senator Heidi Heitkamp – made it central to her 2012 campaign which she barely won. Heitkamp continues to wear her support for the Keystone pipeline on her sleeve as evidence that she’s a moderate and not like all those liberal Democrats North Dakotans really don’t like voting for.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#000000″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]”The last thing North Dakota Democrats need is one of their young leader (Mock serves as Assistant Minority Leader in the state House) on national television, with a rabidly-left wing talking head, bashing the Keystone pipeline.”[/mks_pullquote]

The last thing North Dakota Democrats need is one of their young leader (Mock serves as Assistant Minority Leader in the state House) on national television, with a rabidly-left wing talking head, bashing the Keystone pipeline.

Second, when Mock was finally brought on to speak after Maddow’s diatribe, he was forced to admit that he…voted against legislation for flow meters and cut off valves previously.

After awkwardly acknowledging that vote, Mock goes on to tout new legislation expected to be introduced as soon as next week (the final deadline for bills to be introduced without having to go through the delayed bills committee is Monday). But here’s the problem: As I pointed out in a post earlier today, these flowmeters and pressure cutoff valves are not the silver bullet solution to this issue that Democrats seem to think they are.

Democrat Agriculture Commission candidate Ryan Taylor learned this lesson the hard way during the 2014 campaign season. After a saltwater spill in Mandaree, Taylor attempted to grandstand on the negative headlines the same way Mock and legislative Democrats are now. He said that if elected Agriculture Commissioner he would use his seat on the Industrial Commission to push for flowmeters and cutoff switches.

What Taylor didn’t know, to his chagrin, was that the Mandaree pipeline was already equipped with flowmeters and cutoff switches. They didn’t stop the spill.

We need to have a discussion about these pipeline spills, and policymakers need to explore ways they could be addressed, but let’s face it: Corey Mock and his fellow Democrats aren’t looking for solutions so much as opportunities to make political hay.

Their grandstanding may get them invites to appear on MSNBC, but meanwhile the folks actually in charge of governing this state will no doubt take a more serious approach to the issue.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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