Louisiana lawmaker sheds tears during oil spill hearing

Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.) became emotional during a hearing on the BP oil spill Thursday, forcing him to cut off remarks before the panel.

The congressman shed a tear, became choked up and eventually stopped his remarks. He left the committee room after he could not continue. Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) comforted Melancon before he departed the room.

The spill, the result of an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico last month, has resulted in a continuous seepage of oil from an underground pipe. Some of the oil has washed up on Louisiana's shoreline and severely affected the commercial fishing industry there.

Melancon serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Energy and Environment subcommittee, which held a hearing on the spill Thursday. 

The third-term lawmaker is challenging Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), and the spill has been a hot-button issue on the campaign trail. 

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