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Republican politicians are backing away quickly from the comments of GOP House Rep. Joe Barton of Texas during House Energy Committee hearings today.  Barton, who has a long political relationship with the big oil companies, apologized to BP CEO Tony Haywood for the Obama administration holding the company accountable for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and coaxing $20 billion of reparations from the company, which he called a "shakedown".

Barton's  words:

"I'm not speaking for anybody in the House of Representatives but myself... but I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown. In this case a $20 billion shakedown...

"I apologize. I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong, is subject to some sort of political pressure that is, again, in my words — amounts to a shakedown, so I apologize."  (Emphasis mine.)

He should be ashamed.

Yahoo! News article.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 17th, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC)
And if Obama had had the government take the burden of cleanup, he would have been pissed off that taxpayers had to foot the bill.

Can't win.
Jun. 18th, 2010 08:03 am (UTC)
Aaaaand Joe Barton is apologizing for apologizing:
"I apologize for using the term 'shakedown' with regard to yesterday's actions at the White House in my opening statement this morning, and I retract my apology to BP. As I told my colleagues yesterday and said again this morning, BP should bear the full financial responsibility for the accident on their lease in the Gulf of Mexico. BP should fully compensate those families and businesses that have been hurt by this accident. BP and the federal government need to stop the leak, clean up the damage, and take whatever steps necessary to prevent a similar accident in the future.

"I regret the impact that my statement this morning implied that BP should not pay for the consequences of their decisions and actions in this incident."

Jun. 18th, 2010 02:18 am (UTC)
There are already legal caps on accountability for such scenarios, capped at $70 million, just to prevent the government from performing the shakedowns he describes. And, in fact, BP has ALREADY spent MORE than that of their own accord, trying to deal with the mess (and simultaneously trying to climb over the hurdles the government is throwing in the way of the cleanup...)

People are behaving as if BP WANTED to blow up their own oil rig and lose millions of gallons of expensive crude a day. HONESTLY people. Our government has been shoving the oil companies--- which provide a resource that is necessary for the continued functioning and literal survival of our civilization--- further and further out, pushing them off shore and then driving them out till they're drilling deeper than WHALES can dive, because some spoiled yuppies don't want to look out the window and see an oil rig.... and then when the inevitable happens, they try to villainise the victims.

What the F, people. What do you do when a business in your neighborhood burns down--- stand around and spit at them for polluting your air?
Jun. 18th, 2010 01:07 pm (UTC)
The fire marshal investigates the fire, and if the business burned down because they overloaded their electrical system despite warnings, or knowingly used flammable materials because they were cheaper, or any other safety violations they should have known not to do, the business would be liable for their own damages and those they caused anyone else because of their negligence.
Jun. 18th, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
No comparison, Coyoty. The fire marshall doesn't demand you operate your business in the most inconvenient and farthest-edge circumstances available, then try to milk you for fees.....
oh, and the fire marshall puts out the fire, first.

Quit demonizing BP for a calamity that has happened to them, and that OhBozo is exploiting.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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