Yesterday, executives including BP’s chairman Lamar McKay, Transocean CEO Steve Newman, and Halliburton’s Timothy Probert appeared before a hearing in the House Energy and Commerce Committee to dodge responsibility for their respective roles in the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Coast oil spill.
About an hour before the investigation began, House Republicans gathered a few blocks away for an “oil and gas breakfast” fundraiser with the oil and gas industry to benefit Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX). View a screenshot of the invitation from the Political Party Time blog below:
ThinkProgress reported from the fundraiser and spoke with several lawmakers as they went in and out of the building. We asked Brady, who praised the environmental record of the oil industry shortly after the spill, if he still believed that oil drilling still has a “very positive” record. He replied, “you know, I do.”
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) “” the chairman of the Republican committee tasked with raising funds to elect more House Republicans “” told us that he saw no conflict with his members raising money from the oil industry just about an hour before BP was scheduled to appear for questioning:
TP: Do you think that on the morning that the House is going to talk to these BP and other oil executives, it’s good that your caucus is meeting with the oil and gas industry for a fundraiser?
SESSIONS: You know what I think is really good is that Barack Obama wants oil prices to skyrocket, consumers to pay five dollar gasoline, and to continue his drive to lose ten million American jobs.
TP: I saw that Frank Luntz went into the fundraiser. Did he give you that talking point?
SESSION: No, you see, I put them on the floor of the House every day.
While Republican lawmakers have quietly backed away from their robust pro-oil industry chants of “drill, baby drill,” they have not backed away from their unequivocal support for the oil industry.