After the now prophetical “Drill, Baby, Drill” of the 2008 Republican Convention, Republicans are finding it hard to scrub the black oily stuff from their image…
If you blinked today you might have missed this remarkable turnaround – Just the headlines:
Rep. Joe Barton told Hayward he was “ashamed” of the pressure the White House put on BP to create the $20 billion escrow fund to cover losses to victims of the spill. “I think it’s a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would call a shakedown,” the Texan said. “In this case a $20 billion shakedown.”
Steve Benen, Washington Monthly: “We’ll see if Barton is forced to walk back his apology, but at this point, his remarks may be one of the year’s game-changing moments.”
A fellow Republican has called on Joe Barton to step down from the House Energy Committee forapologizing to BP’s CEO. Rep. Jeff Miller, who represents the Pensacola district of Florida—one of the areas most affected by the Gulf oil spill—said Barton’s conciliatory comments to Tony Hayward “call into question his judgment and ability to serve in a leadership on the Energy and Commerce Committee,” the Hill reports.
“I apologize for using the term ‘shakedown’ with regard to yesterday’s actions at the White House in my opening statement this morning, and I retract my apology to BP,” said the Texas Republican in a statement.
“I regret the impact that my statement this morning implied that BP should not pay for the consequences of their decisions and actions in this incident,” said his statement, as per CBS.
So what prompted Joe Barton’s quick retraction of his apology to BP? A sincere change of heart, maybe. Or it could have been the meeting with House GOP leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor, who told him, “Apologize, immediately. Or you will lose your (committee) position, immediately,” reports the Washington Post.
Oh My… All in 4 hours! Mr Barton must have bumped into his staff still leaving the conference room before they could all file out!
Of Course Rep Barton and Republicans have another problem… A comment he made in 2004:
“Offshore drilling and production platforms are so technologically advanced that one platform on the surface of the water can handle production from several different wells several miles apart, house a myriad of technologically advanced computer systems, employ scores of personnel, generate electricity, enable people to face and conquer the adversities of living in the middle of the ocean, and do so 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; all without so much as losing a gum wrapper over the side of the platform. It is truly amazing,” Barton said, at an opening for aSubcommittee on Energy and Air Quality hearingon April 29, 2004.
And the small issue that Mr Barton has received $1.2 million in campaign contributions from big oil…