Friday, June 18, 2010

Rep Joe Barton (R) Texas Apologizes To BP CEO Tony Hayward

GOP Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the ranking member on the House Energy Committee, made a decisive splash in his opening remarks (from which Republican leaders immediately began distancing themselves). A staunch conservative who has a long record of backing oil industry interests, Barton apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward for the "shakedown" the Obama White House pulled on the company. (Barton has received more than $1.5 million in campaign donations from the oil industry, according to Open Secrets, a nonpartisan watchdog group.)

"I'm not speaking for anybody in the House of Representatives but myself," Barton explained, "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."

Wrapping up, Barton said: "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."

Rep. Joe L. Barton Apologizes to BP CEO Tony Hayward during Congressional Hearing

Astounding? Yes! Here this company has ruined the lives of thousands upon thousands of people, has literally destroyed nearly a half a million acres of marshes and wetlands, caused untold damage to our wildlife and our sea life, all in the name of greed, and our President is doing everything in his power to ensure that this company doesn't run from its obligations to those people and the damage they have done, and this idiot has the gall to apologize to them for our President putting the citizens of this country first?

Yes he did.

He also came out later and retracted his apology to BP but he obviously didn't do it willingly. Instead he was "forced" to do it by the GOP leadership.

GOP leaders summoned Barton to the Capitol and demanded he apologize in specific terms. The leaders threatened to launch a process to strip Barton of his position as ranking Republican on the powerful panel, according to two Republican officials who demanded anonymity.

So why did Barton jump on this chance to slam President Obama and defend BP?

Barton is the biggest recipient of oil and gas industry campaign contributions in the House of Representatives, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Its data showed that Barton has collected $1,447,880 from political action committees and individuals connected with the oil and gas industry since 1989.

Federal Election Commission records show that during the current 2009-10 campaign cycle, the oil and gas industry has been the second-biggest contributor to Barton, at $100,470, behind only the electric utility industry ($162,800).

Republican Forced to Apologize

Should you wish to contact Mr Barton and voice your concerns that he is willing to support BP rather than the citizens of this country, I have listed his contact information below.

How you can contact Mr. Joe L Barton:

Email Contact Form

2109 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-2002
(202) 225-3052 fax

6001 West Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway,
Suite 200
Arlington, Texas 76017
(817) 543-1000
(817) 548-7029 fax

2106 A W. Ennis Ave.
Ennis, Texas 75119
(972) 875-8488
(972) 875-1907 fax

303 N. 6th St.
Crockett, TX 75835
(936) 544-8488

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