Markey takes oil dispute with Vitter to Twitter

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) needled Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) over Twitter on Friday for asserting the House Democrat should travel to meet with oil industry workers in the Gulf.

Markey, the former chairman of the now-defunct House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, disputed a quote by Vitter in local media challenging him to travel to the Gulf.

Markey tweeted Friday:

.@davidvitter re:http://bit.ly/fxKRWt. Went to LA 2X during #BP #oilspill. Met w rig workers/shrimpers. Urge you to support my spill leg

Also had LA shrimpers/fisherman hurt by #BP to DC. They shared pain w/Congress. @davidvitter must not have watched http://bit.ly/9m1rjM

Vitter's been a longtime advocate for the oil industry, a major employer in his home state of Louisiana, which suffered a body blow last year from the regulatory reactions to the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Markey, by contrast, is a top proponent of environmental regulations, and had pushed for a plan to end tax breaks for oil companies, prompting Vitter's remark to local press.

"I wish Ed Markey would travel from Massachusetts to Louisiana and meet face-to-face with workers who've lost their jobs because of the Obama shutdown of the Gulf," Vitter told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "Ed Markey supports that shutdown. And the reason we have and need these tax provisions is because the U.S. has the highest business tax rate in the world, which Ed Markey also supports."