Rep. Joe Barton, right, knows from oil money. Photo: Republican ConferenceRep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) played hometown ball today at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. Barton told BP CEO Tony Hayward that he's sorry President Obama had the company set aside $20 billion to settle claims in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. From the Houston Chronicle's energy blog:
At a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on the spill, Barton apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward for the "tragedy" that a private corporation could be subject to a "20 billion shakedown.""There is no question that BP is liable for the damages," that are a consequence of the spill, Barton said. But, he added, "we have a due process system" to determine what those damages are.
Barton's top campaign contributor since 1989, Anadarko Petroleum, just happens to be one of the four parties held responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Anadarko is refusing to testify on Capitol Hill about how it's helping the shrimpers and other folks put out of work by the spill in the Gulf of Mexico.Overall, Barton has taken in more than $1.4 million in contributions from the oil and gas industry since 1989. UPDATE: That total includes $27,350 from people and PACS associated with BP.