Poor, Poor British Petroleum

Sitting U.S. Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) today apologized to BP, apparently on behalf of himself, for the $20 billion dollar escrow account that the Administration has just set up for Gulf Coast damages and recovery. In a congressional testimony with BP executives he said:

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… what amounts to a $20 billion slush fund that is unprecedented in our nation’s history, that’s got no legal standing, which I think sets a terrible precedent for the future. [1]

Really? Joe, you’re apologizing to BP?? On behalf of yourself? As an elected politician? Whenever you open your mouth Joe, you speak for your constituency whether you try to sugar coat it or not. You do not speak for me, nor do you speak for thousands of your fellow Texans whose livelihoods may now be ruined, especially if one of those underwater plumes that don’t really exist [2] heads your way.

Okay, so while I am not thrilled with President Obama’s overall handling of this disaster, at least he’s responding to a very difficult situation. And the escrow account is certainly appropriate under the circumstances, regardless of your questionable loyalties Joe.

I’ll give John Boehner (R-OH) some credit for having the decency to publicly distance himself from your ridiculous comments. [3] But others – Barton (R-TX), Price (R-GA), Bachmann (R-MN) and anyone else who is trying to frame the escrow account as a shakedown? Shame. On. You.

Dear reader, before voting this fall, I hope you’ll do some research and remember those who either vote against escrow legislation or worse, publicly smear it. Those people are not acting in your interest, and they do not deserve to hold title as your representatives.


  1. Rep. Barton apologizes to BP for Obama ‘shakedown’
  2. BP CEO: There aren’t any oil plumes
  3. Boehner refuses to endorse Barton’s claim that BP’s escrow fund is a ’shakedown.’

Leave a Reply