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GOP apology given to Tony Hayward for White House shakedown

Posted Jun 23 2010 1:18am
Tony Hayward opened his testimony in Congress Thursday by apologizing on behalf of BP for the disaster that is the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico 2010. But he was upstaged by one more apology from a Republican for the White House "shakedown" of BP for a $20 billion dollar fund to cover damages from the oil spill. Lawmakers gave some wrath on the beleaguered oil business executive at the House Energy and Commerce listening to investigating the oil spill. The shakedown apology to Hayward from Texas Republican Joe Barton was also predictable upon examination of the representative's record.

Resource for this article: Tony Hayward receives G.O.P. apology for White House shakedown By Personal Money Store

Tony Hayward just sits while the gusher flows

While Tony Heyward took his lumps, the oil spill within the Gulf of Mexico reached at least 100 million gallons as outlined by government estimates. It was reported by the New York Times that the oil spill cap BP has been using given that June 3 has collected about 15,000 barrels a day. Scientists estimated Tuesday the BP oil leak ranges from 35,000 barrels to 60,000 barrels a day — which is very much up from the flow rate they issued only last week, of 25,000 to 30,000 barrels a day. It continues a pattern in which each and every new estimate of the flow rate has been dramatically higher than the one before.

Political posturing dominates hearing

As lawmakers made statements, Tony Hayward listened quietly for about 90 minutes. Democrats led by California Rep. Henry Waxman, who is the chairman of the full House Energy and Commerce Committee, harshly criticized BP for the shortcuts it took that lead to the disaster. Republicans used the televised hearing as an chance to criticize the Obama administration for its response to the BP oil spill. As they used the hearing to score political points with their base, Republicans accused the administration for using the listening to to put the oil industry out of business to advance its energy policies.

Joe Barton was ashamed of the BP “shakedown”

Before Tony Hayward had a chance to apologize, he got his own apology. Barton explained he was "ashamed of what happened within the White House yesterday. I apologize. I don't want to live in a country where any time a citizen or corporation does anything wrong, they're subjected to such political pressure." He said it was "a tragedy of the first proportion, that a private corporation can be subjected to what I'd characterize as a shakedown, a $20 billion shakedown." Reuters reports that Republicans are seeking to pick up seats from majority Democrats in November's congressional elections. Using BP's $20 billion oil spill damage fund to try desperately to criticize the Obama administration is a politically risky stance that is bound to be unpopular within the Gulf region, where out-of-work fishermen are desperate for claims payments to survive economically.

No surprise from Barton’s shakedown

Tony Hayward and a majority of Americans may are shocked at Barton's shakedown apology. But as outlined by the Washington Post, for Barton, outrageous statements about energy and climate change are nothing new. Barton is the biggest recipient of oil and gas industry campaign contributions of all the individuals in the House of Representatives according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Some of these comments were:

Barton on wind energy:

"Wind is God's way of balancing heat. Wind is the way you shift heat from areas where it's hotter to areas where it is cooler. That's what wind is. Wouldn't it be ironic if within the interest of global warming we mandated massive switches to energy, which is a finite resource, which slows the winds down, which causes the temperature to go up?"

Barton on climate change:

"I think that it's inevitable that humanity will adapt to global warming. I also believe the longer we postpone finding ways to do it (adapt) successfully, the more expensive and unpalatable the adjustment will become. Adaptation to shifts in temperature is not that difficult."

Barton on Co2:

"CO2 is odorless, colorless, tasteless - it's not a threat to human health in terms of being exposed to it. We create it as we talk back and forth. So, and if you go beyond that, on a net basis, there's ample evidence that warming generically -- however it is caused -- is a net benefit to mankind."

Hayward gets his apology in edgewise

Tony Hayward finally got his chance to apologize after a protester, smeared in black, disrupted his testimony by shouting that he should be charged with some kind of a crime. After she was hustled out of the room, Hayward said he was "deeply sorry," and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico 2010 should not have ever happened. He also offered his condolences to the families and friends of the 11 individuals who died in the explosion of the oil rig that set the disaster in motion. Hayward has yet to face any questions from a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which recessed after his statement to allow members to vote. No more apologies could be expected.

Additional data at these websites

New York Times


Washington Post
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