One year ago Friday, Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) said it is “a tragedy of the first proportion” that BP agreed to Obama’s request to set up a $20 billion fund to compensate Americans for the devastation they wrought on the Gulf of Mexico by their recklessness — and then he apologized to BP CEO Hayward!
Desperate Republican leaders quickly forced Barton to retract the apology (see “Who’s sorry now?“). But a few days later, the following tweet appeared from Barton:
It was quickly removed and then Barton’s press secretary fell on his sword to protect his boss.
You can watch the original jaw-dropping remarks by Barton (GOBP-TX) in this video from the House hearing, which makes perfectly clear that Barton meant every last word he said:
The Daily News noted at the time, “Before his election to Congress, Barton was an executive with ARCO, which was later acquired by BP.”
Barton claimed litigation is the best way for determining “when those damages should be paid.” CP had already examined at length what happens when we go that path:
“The Exxon Valdez spill was in 1989, they still, 21 years later, have not paid the [full] amount awarded in court (a mere $500 million) to those affected and in fact over 8000 people have died while waiting for compensation. Exxon is still in appeals court TODAY. Why would BP act differently?“
Back in April, BP marked the one year anniversary of its oil disaster by giving big bucks to GOP leadership. Perhaps Barton will mark this anniversary by taking big bucks from the oil and gas industry, who have funded his campaign to the tune of $1.5 million in the past.