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National Republican Congressional Committee Blinded by RaUl Grijalva’s High School Science Experiment

The head-bobbers at the National Republican Congressional Committee have a problem with science.

Actually, they have a lot of problems with science.

This week’s problem is with rocks. Not because this one thinks they’re “dumbasses”

…but because the NRCC, despite its promotion of the dangerous Keystone XL pipeline, doesn’t know that mined tar sands are solid and rock-like.

Or maybe it doesn’t know that rocks sink.

Or maybe it doesn’t know that when the Keystone XL pipeline spills, the liquefied tar sands will sink to the bottom of whatever river, stream or lake is nearby — causing a toxic, very hard-to-clean-up mess.

Actually, it’s hard to know what the NRCC doesn’t know because its website attacking Congressman Raúl Grijalva on the matter is bizarrely vacuous.

Grijalva attracted their ire by posting this great video explaining the dangers of heavy tar sands oil and why Obama shouldn’t allow the risky Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to endanger America’s rivers and aquifers.


Alas, the high school science experiment was too much for the NRCC. In this still from a video secretly taped by a bartender, you can see the NRCC science team trying to grasp the critical moment in Grijalva’s video:

Edward HumesEdward Humes

Grijalva breaks it down as simply and clearly as possible:

"Let’s look at the tar sands themselves, we have some here. … As we put them in the water, you’ll notice they absolutely sink to the bottom. That’s why pipeline leaks and spills are so dangerous in places like Mayflower, Arkansas, [and are] so difficult to clean up. This stuff sinks — it doesn’t float. Keystone XL is about 2,000 miles long. It’s gonna carry 800,000 gallons of this stuff every day."

If that’s too sciency for the NRCC geniuses, maybe they should stick to this website by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration explaining the threat of tar sands pipeline spills. It even has a picture of the dreaded tar sands “rocks”:


Tar sands oil starts out as the solid bitumen Grijalva pours into the beaker. It's then diluted into an oily, liquid form with a toxic brew of chemicals to make it transportable by pipeline. When the pipeline inevitably spills, the lighter toxic chemicals evaporate off as really nasty air pollution and the heavier tar sands oil sludge sinks into any lake or river in the vicinity.

Here’s what a tar sands pipeline spill looks like. Just two months ago in Mayflower, Arkansas, this happened:

Here’s an aerial video of the devastation:

Here’s another tar sands pipeline spill. This one happened in the Kalamazoo River in Michigan (2010):

But all that pollution, suffering and disruption of American communities is just

to the NRCC. And we know what it thinks of science.

Stop the Keystone XL pipeline.

  1. Check out Grijalva’s video.
  2. Sign his anti-Keystone petition.
  3. Sign our anti-Keystone pledge.
  4. Get involved.

Imagine the look on NRCC’s face when we stop the Keystone XL pipeline.