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Joe Barton's BP 'shakedown' comments are nothing new

By Matt DeLong

At a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Thursday, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward for the $20 billion "shakedown" the oil company received from President Obama.

"I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday," Barton said. "I apologize. I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or corporation does anything wrong," they are subjected to such political pressure.
The White House immediately shot back with a statement from press secretary Robert Gibbs calling for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to condemn Barton's comments.
"What is shameful is that Joe Barton seems to have more concern for big corporations that caused this disaster than the fishermen, small business owners and communities whose lives have been devastated by the destruction. Congressman Barton may think that a fund to compensate these Americans is a 'tragedy', but most Americans know that the real tragedy is what the men and women of the Gulf Coast are going through right now. Members from both parties should repudiate his comments."

Barton's apology may have come as a surprise to anyone unfamiliar with his positions on energy and climate change. But Barton has a long history of making colorful (not to mention energy industry-friendly) comments on these issues. Here's a sample.


Wind energy could alter wind patterns and aggravate global warming.

"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's cooler. That's what wind is. Wouldn't it be ironic if in 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? Now, I'm not saying that's going to happen, Mr. Chairman, but that is definitely something on the massive scale. I mean, it does make some sense. You stop something, you can't transfer that heat, and the heat goes up. It's just something to think about."

Humans will simply "adapt" to 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 successfully, the more expensive and unpalatable the adjustment will become. Adaptation to shifts in temperature is not that difficult. What will be difficult is the adaptation to rampant unemployment -- enormous, spontaneous and avoidable changes to our economy -- if we adopt such a reckless policy as cap-and-tax or cap-and-trade."

Global warming is a "net benefit" to mankind.
"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."

Barton claimed via Twitter to have stumped Energy Secretary Steven Chu with a "simple question": "How did all the oil and gas get to Alaska and under the Arctic Ocean?" Watch the video for yourself to see if Chu, a Nobel Prize winner, was truly stumped.

Sometimes, however, Barton prefers to let his actions do the talking. During a hearing on the Waxman-Markey climate bill last year, Barton read the paper while his former upper-chamber colleague, John Warner (R-Va.), testified.

By Matt DeLong  |  June 17, 2010; 1:23 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

I agree with Barton and I am sorry he retracted his statement. The Democrats have already tried to tap into another already set up oil spill fund to fund their unemployment bill. They tried to pull money already from an existing one so who is to say that the people who need this money will even get this 20 billion. THIS WAS A SHAKEDOWN. We have a legal system in this nation. We do not pull companies into little rooms and demand they put up or shut up. Is this how they do it in Chicago? Have we turned into thugs? Restitution should be done in a court of law with burden of proof. This was more than disgraceful. So all you who think it is fine Obama thinks he can act like a little dictator and do such things go right ahead but come elections, these Democrats are toast.

Posted by: greatgran1 | June 18, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Call and demand Barton be removed. These are the subcommittee members. This is the website: www.energycommerce.house.gov

Bart Stupak, Michigan, Chairman
Bruce L. Braley, IA, Vice Chair Michael C. Burgess, TX, Ranking Member1
Edward J. Markey, MA George Radanovich, CA
Diana DeGette, CO John Sullivan, OK
Mike Doyle, PA Marsha Blackburn, TN
Jan Schakowsky, IL Phil Gingrey, GA
Mike Ross, AR Parker Griffith, AL2
Donna M. Christensen, VI Robert E. Latta, OH3
Peter Welch, VT Joe Barton, TX (ex officio)
Gene Green, TX
Betty Sutton, OH
John D. Dingell (ex officio)
Henry A. Waxman, CA (ex officio)

1Mr. Burgess became Ranking Republican Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on February 23, 2010. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) served as the Ranking Republican Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations for the 111th Congress until he resigned from the Committee on Energy and Commerce effective February 23, 2010.

2Mr. Griffith was appointed to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Mr. Walden from the Committee on Energy and Commerce on February 23, 2010.

3Mr. Latta was appointed on April 15, 2010, to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) from the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010. Mr. Deal served on this Subcommittee in the 111th Congress until his resignation.

Posted by: blosmurph | June 18, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"Joe Barton (R-Tex.) called the BP escrow fund a “shakedown” of the oil giant and labeled it a “$20 billion slush fund." What is wrong with what he said? Do people really think the 20 billion will go to the people who need it? Well if recent Obama history is any indicator the answer is no. I am interested in what you think feel free too contact me at bestmichiganbusinesses.com we are currently in Beta and I'm not a programmer so a bit slow here at work. In fact I work the same schedule as Obama so I will get right on that in about six weeks! ha ha he is such good fun.

Posted by: Loxinabox | June 18, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Posted by JBaustian: "Barton must be a moron, if he let Gibbs force him to back down. Where is the constitutional authority for a president to extort billions from a private company, then use that money as a slush fund to reelect Democrats?" FYI4U fella/lady It was BOEHNER that ORDERED him to retract his statement. And that was only after MILLER (R,FL) called for him to step down. Don't you read or do you just listen to FOX NEWS? Good GOD, but you are stupid!

Posted by: blosmurph | June 18, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"Barton must be a moron, if he let Gibbs force him to back down. Where is the constitutional authority for a president to extort billions from a private company, then use that money as a slush fund to reelect Democrats?"

Comments like this show why some people refuse to accept the obvious damage perpetrated by companies like BP, who put profits ahead of worker, public and environmental safety; they live on Mars.

First of all, Gibbs didn't force Barton to back down, his party's leaders did. Second, the demented notion that the "slush fund", which will be overseen by the man who negotiated all of the 9/11 settlements and is respected by all sane people from both sides of the aisle, would be going to fund Dems is so off the wall that only someone completely unfamiliar with the workings of the government could suggest something so completely fallacious, not to mention, impossible under the law.

Clearly the writer does not live in the Gulf or was not present during the Exxon Valdez debacle, where claimants, whose lives were ruined had to wait through twenty years of lawsuits to get paid a fraction of what they were owed. No wonder the leaders of the Tea Party are furious about Chris Matthews' doc, which showcased people suffering from exactly this kind of delusional thinking.

Posted by: Koko3 | June 18, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Thank heavens that Barton's comments made it through the MSM - altho presented in a negative light. There were several other Republicans who made meaningful comments who didn't make it through the olbamapresscorps. I stood up and cheered when a small portion of Barton's comments made it to the news. Someone simply has to confront fascist BH O'Carter and put a stop to his distruction.

Posted by: IQ168 | June 18, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Barton must be a moron, if he let Gibbs force him to back down. Where is the constitutional authority for a president to extort billions from a private company, then use that money as a slush fund to reelect Democrats? To the Democrats, every private-sector company is an enemy but also a potential cash cow. Next target: Apple, simply because it is sitting on lots of cash. Somehow that money must be tapped by the Democrats... Apple may have lobbyists but they it has not hired enough of them or the ones with real power.

Posted by: JBaustian | June 18, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Interesting guy...um, how did all that oil and gas get under the Arctic anyway? It would appear that the HUBBARD 'peak oil' hypothesis woefully underestimated the amount of oil deep in the earth and in reserves unknown to Hubbard....perhaps there is no 'Peak oil'?

Someone said that KUWAIT has hundreds of uncapped wells that have been spewing oil and gas for decades...true?

A research team found about a dozen plumes of oil/gas coming from fissures in just a small area of the GULF. This would seem to be the natural state of things and that there is considerable bio-remediation of these substances, if not an entire ecology of microorganisms that 'feed' on them.

CO2 is a plant food, not a pollutant! ..just ask any greenhouse grower what 'flooding' does for his productivity.

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | June 18, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Interesting guy...um, how did all that oil and gas get under the Arctic anyway? It would appear that the HUBBARD 'peak oil' hypothesis woefully underestimated the amount of oil deep in the earth and in reserves unknown to Hubbard....perhaps there is no 'Peak oil'?

Someone said that KUWAIT has hundreds of uncapped wells that have been spewing oil and gas for decades...true?

A research team found about a dozen plumes of oil/gas coming from fissures in just a small area of the GULF. This would seem to be the natural state of things and that there is considerable bio-remediation of these substances, if not an entire ecology of microorganisms that 'feed' on them.

CO2 is a plant food, not a pollutant! ..just ask any greenhouse grower what 'flooding' does for his productivity.

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | June 18, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Barton's response typifies the mindset of the Republican party in general towards the average American citizen. Think about it the next time you vote.

Posted by: rocknwroll | June 18, 2010 4:12 AM | Report abuse

Hey jimbobkalina, would you rather we elect union shills? Do you not now believe in "due process" (you can find the words IN the U.S. Constitution! Unlike the words "separation of church and state" which ARE NOT in the U.S. Constitution)? Or do you just believe in "due process" for liberals and socialists?

Posted by: vince33x | June 18, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

I do not believe that the constitution says clearly that repubs have the right to be flaming idiots by electing such corporate shills time and again. There must be some point where you foul out of the game and can no longer participate. We are well past that point, and Barton proves it.

Posted by: jimbobkalina | June 17, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Barton,

listening to your ludicrous statements in the BP hearing, you should possibly consider moving yourself & your family out of the united states.

Mexico is nice and warm all year round and taxes are low.

sincerely,
peter

Posted by: exile1 | June 17, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

If BP investors, including the millions of pensioners in the UK think this 20 billion dollars will settle the matter, they are delusional. This 20 billion is only a down payment. Just like the "stimulus" the democrats will come back for more, just as a shark would do once it smells blood in the water. With control of this money the democrat-controlled federal government will dole it out to their cronies, based on political favoritism, just as they did the "stimulus" money. In effect this is nothing more than a huge re-election slush fund.

Obama now sees this inconvenient crisis as an opportunity to advance his cap-and-trade agenda -- a fact that is all to obvious from the text of his oval-office delivered collection of platitudes yesterday. His aim is to wreck the oil industry in favor of windmills, solar, and biodiesel (aka 'renewables'), and to tax carbon-based fuels out of favor. All of these are far too low in energy yield so the end result will be the same as Carter's "energy plan": even more dependence on foreign oil. BP excepted.

If Obama gave a damn about jobs in the Gulf states he would never have declared a moritorium on off-shore drilling, which is expected to cost 120,000 jobs and will do nothing to preempt pollution, since less environmentally responsible nations (many hostile to us) will still drill in the Gulf without self-imposed restraints.

Posted by: vetpatriot | June 17, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

If BP investors, including the millions of pensioners in the UK think this 20 billion dollars will settle the matter, they are delusional. This 20 billion is only a down payment. Just like the "stimulus" the democrats will come back for more, just as a shark would do once it smells blood in the water. With control of this money the democrat-controlled federal government will dole it out to their cronies, based on political favoritism, just as they did the "stimulus" money. In effect this is nothing more than a huge re-election slush fund.

Obama now sees this inconvenient crisis as an opportunity to advance his cap-and-trade agenda -- a fact that is all to obvious from the text of his oval-office delivered collection of platitudes yesterday. His aim is to wreck the oil industry in favor of windmills, solar, and biodiesel (aka 'renewables'), and to tax carbon-based fuels out of favor. All of these are far too low in energy yield so the end result will be the same as Carter's "energy plan": even more dependence on foreign oil. BP excepted.

If Obama gave a damn about jobs in the Gulf states he would never have declared a moritorium on off-shore drilling, which is expected to cost 120,000 jobs and will do nothing to preempt pollution, since less environmentally responsible nations (many hostile to us) will still drill in the Gulf without self-imposed restraints.

Posted by: vetpatriot | June 17, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Did not Ronald Reagon once utter something to the effect that the Smoky Mountains created more pollution than automobiles? A political opponent suggested Reagan go into a closed garage with a running automobile, and the opponent would sit in the Smokies. They would wait to see who left first.

I think Barton and some of the commenters here who believe Barton is correct, and Obama wrong on this issue must have taken Reagan's place in the garage.

Posted by: kermit5 | June 17, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party has a Clear Allegiance: The Rich, Oil and Coal

The Tea Party is fighting for what's best for Wall Street Criminals, for Oil and Coal Industry Negligence resulting in Deaths and Pollution, and the Policies that allow them to continue doing so Without Oversight or Regulation.

Why isn’t the Tea Party organizing and demonstrating against Industries causing the Deaths and Lost Livelihoods of Millions of Americans? Why aren't they protesting Lack of Regulation against Wall Street, Oil and Coal companies that are Killing People and caused the Financial Devastation of Millions of Americans? Why aren't they protesting against BP and Halliburton's Gross Negligence in the destruction of Multi-Billion dollar Tourism and Commercial Fishing Industries in the Gulf Coast Oil disaster?

Because the Companies Responsible is who Started, Fund and Direct Tea Party actions.

The primary funding sources for the Tea Party are two conservative groups:

“Americans for Prosperity” and “FreedomWorks”

which receive substantial funding from David Koch of Koch Industries, the largest privately-held energy company in the country, and the conservative Koch Family Foundations. Koch industries are responsible for hundreds of Oil spills spread over multiple states.

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/assets/binaries/wanted-for-climate-crimes-cha

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/polluterwatch/koch-industries-secretly-fund

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/polluterwatch/koch-industries

The Drill-Baby-Drill and Tea Party Crowd has little empathy for anyone else, yet is quick to ask for Federal Welfare when there is an Oil spill, Flood, Tornado, or Tropical Storm etc., in their Backyard as is happening right now in Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, Florida, Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee.

Posted by: liveride | June 17, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Dear Teabaggers,

Your stupidity and all around mean spiritedness continue to astound. While I realize facts and logic are totally lost on you, but can you at least TRY to understand that:

1.) The Constitution in your head notwithstanding, the REAL one doesn't forbid the president and/or his Attorney General from negotiating settlements of this kind. The Justice Department does it in environmental enforcement actions all the time, although usually without the 24/7 hysteria.

2.) The money is going to be held in an ESCROW account. Are you familiar with the term? It means it cannot be spent or disbursed without the approval of the trustee, who in turn will need to get approval from the courts. Again, this is a completely standard way of handling settlements in environmental actions.

3.) The money is NOT going to ACORN, your favorite all-purpose boogyman. ACORN doesn't exist any more. Deal with it.

4.) BP has agreed to do this BECAUSE IT IS IN ITS OWN CORPORATE INTEREST. Investors have been shunning BP until they have some kind of idea of the company's potential legal liability. This has caused yields on BP bonds to soar and made it hard for the company to roll over short-term debt, threatening the company (and the entire financial system) with insolvency. While the settlement is not final, it does give investors some reason to hope that the company will remain viable -- which in turn makes it more likely that it WILL remain viable.

5.) BP, its shareholders, and the wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico aren't the only ones at risk here. Do you by chance remember what happened to a company called Lehman Brothers when it couldn't roll over its short-term debt a couple of years ago? Do want to see a repeat of that fun-filled episode?

6.) If anything, Obama is doing BP a favor by coming to terms so quickly. The fact that BP is so eager to accept his terms is a clear sign it understands just how MORE humongeous its liabilities could be if this ends up in court. If you wanna blame Obama for subverting the course of justice, go right ahead (although I'm not sure he had any realistic alternative) but it's ridiculous to blame him for that with one breath and then accuse him of "shaking down" BP in the next.

But I forgot: ridiculous (like stupid) is one of your specialities.

Posted by: PeterPrinciple | June 17, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I was watching television and saw Congressman Joe Barton, Republican 6th district Texas. I could not believe he was apologising to Mr. Heywood for what he called the $20 billion the White House put in a trust fund to be handled by a third party as a "shakedown". How dare he had the nerve to say what he did. Obviously a lot of other people felt the same way as me.

Posted by: barbnan | June 17, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Barton certainly has NOTHING to apologize for in correctly characterizing the unlawful actions of the hussein-regime thugs as criminal EXTORTION in creating yet another d-crat socialist slush fund.

Posted by: TeaPartyPatriot | June 17, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Responding to bbahler

Actually, going to court wouldn't be very helpful to people immediatley. Exxon spent over a decade in courts delaying and reducing the payments that they were sued for after their Valdez spill.
By negotiating this arrangement, and taking the payment for damages away from BP Obama has greatly reduced the time between damage claims and receipt. Greatly increased the speed at which efforts can be funded. And taken out of BP's hands the power to veto any actions. (Which they've largely had up till now because they only funded certain activities..)
This was good business for the tax payers. And particularly good business for the people in the Gulf.
Going to court, would be a last resort, and would end up benfitting lawyers more than the Gulf.
You may be a nation of laws, but you are also a nation of business men and largely moral people. And sometimes a pragmatic people.
Bravo for Obama.
Barton is an idiot.

Posted by: rpp1 | June 17, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

This guy is the best that Texas can produce?

Posted by: sr31 | June 17, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The Oil Disaster is a Threat to our National Security. It's Destroying Hundreds of Billions of USA Resources and the lives of Millions of People. We could have Declared War on BP, Destroyed it's assets, Jailed it's CEO's, and send them to GITMO for CM Sandwiches. We did not do that. Oil Lobbyists should Stop Complaing about the USA exercising it's God Given Right for Justice and Help Solve the Problem.

At some Point this Oil Gusher will Destroy Resources belonging to Mexico and Cuba. Will they Declare War on BP, Bomb their Platforms, Freeze their Assets (BP is just an Oil Exploration Bank after all) and take their Executives and Employees as Prisoners of War? They would be within their Rights to do so though Mexico allowed a Massive spill in the Gulf and Did Not Pay Reparations to the USA.

Keep the Focus on Cleaning up the Spill, Repaying the People, and Preventing it from happening again.

Posted by: liveride | June 17, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are the gift that just keeps on giving to their opponents' campaigns.

They give the word the impression America has been taken over by hateful, old white religious fanatics.

Let's hope some of BP's sludge washes up in Corpus Christi. Then Barton can apologize to BP for anyone who is outraged by that, too.

Posted by: areyousaying | June 17, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

In the hey day of the late 60s and early 70s, the youth and other so call radicals would stage rallies and events to get the attention of those in power. That is what the current day 'tea baggers' do. So, why doesn't someone take the challenge and do something a little radical... such as dumping several barrels of the crude oil that is in the Gulf on the doorsteps of Joe Barton and all the other Big Oil supporters and see how they like the mess. Not sure what they will do. But maybe they will get their gardeners and housekeepers (did someone say immigrants?) to clean it up.

Posted by: OhmyaTexan | June 17, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Joe Barton introduced the Energy Policy Act of 2005, part of which required MMS to act on drilling appeals within 30 days. Which everyone knew was impossible and meant, in practice, that drilling permits were automatic.

Maybe someone should ask him why he did that.

Dear Joe Barton,

If a $20Billion fund for Gulf clean up is a shakedown or slush fund, is your $1.4 Million campaign donation from BP - a bribe?

-Just Wondering

This loathesome big-oil hack needs to resign TODAY.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | June 17, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey Joe Barton, FU!

Posted by: ozpunk | June 17, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Barton
Your comments are reprehensible
You were elected to serve the people - NOT big oil
Shame on you sir!

Posted by: Paddieman | June 17, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

There should be some kind of intelligence test required to get into Congress. I think a basic High School level science or history test would probably be sufficient to weed out morons like Barton.

Posted by: kwinters2 | June 17, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I think it goes without saying that Barton should opt to stay out of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida for the forseeable future. The congressman has simply lost touch with his real constituents. It's time he retired to K street - there he will be appreciated, and there he can degrade himself in less public forums than government venues.

Posted by: PastyWhite | June 17, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Didn't BP agree to put $20billion into the escrow account? It isn't like they said no and the gov swooped in and took their money.

Posted by: Udontsay | June 17, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

The man spouts utter nonsense and yet - for some unfathomable reason - the people of Texas saw him as one of their best and brightest. Sigh.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | June 17, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I hope Barton is reading all the comments here. $20 billion is not ENOUGH for the damage done and BEING done by BP's reckless drilling. He obviously still kisses up to corporations and the oil industry.

And sure, blame it on the President for standing up for America -are you patriotic, Mr. Barton? That was go-to excuse the Republican used whenever people criticized GW Bush.

I hope the American public can see more and more clearly who has been eating pork and continue to want to eat pork, at the cost of everyone, the wildlife and the environment.

Posted by: swglovsky | June 17, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

He's just being a bit touchy cause it's coming out that he spearheaded the 2005 Bush legislation mandating that MMS process deep water drilling permits in 30 days, preventing any meaningful review of the hazards.

Seems this is a Bush/Republican spill after all.

and of course now we know which party is looking out for taxpayers.

except for the Republicans who not only don't think this was an improper shakedown, but are claiming that Obama stole the idea from them - Bill McCollum, running for FL gov and Sen. LeMieux of FL are both claiming that they demanded the escrow before Obama did it.

Posted by: JoeT1 | June 17, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please cite for me the legal authority that grants Obama et al the power to demand BP establish a $20 billion escrow account? I know of no such legal empowerment either in the Constitution or by statute. Lacking such, the existence of the account and its operations cannot be enforced by the government. Obama needs to be reminded that we are a nation of laws, not men. It would have been better for the government to sue BP and seek a court order for such an account. That is how the system works.

Posted by: bbahler | June 17, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Joe "My vote is for sale!" Barton. The AP list of oil industry contributions since 2009 put Joe 2nd highest on the committee at a cool $100,000.

Congress needs a new rule. Whenever they have hearings on an industry, the contributions each has received from the industry the last 1, 2, 5, 10yrs (as applicable) should be prominently displayed.

Posted by: chucko2 | June 17, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Joe "My vote is for sale!" Barton. The AP list of oil industry contributions since 2009 put Joe 2nd highest on the committee at a cool $100,000.

Congress needs a new rule. Whenever they have hearings on an industry, the contributions each has received from the industry the last 1, 2, 5, 10yrs (as applicable) should be prominently displayed.

Posted by: chucko2 | June 17, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Now the $20 billion has to be used to actually help those hurt by the spill.

I have no doubt Rep. Barton and oil's friends from both parties will try to see that it is not.

Think what would have happened for the little people if Bush-Cheny had still been in office or if we had had McCain-Palin.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | June 17, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

It reminds me of an old Prohibition saying, 'He's an honest cop, he stays bought.' Joe Barton is an honest politician, by that standard.

Posted by: steelsil2 | June 17, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I suggest Barton prove CO2 is not a threat to human health by placing a plastic bag over his head for an hour or two. In fact, how about him and Michelle Bockman share a bag since she thinks CO2 is actually a good thing.

Posted by: thomgr | June 17, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

As a military veteran who has served in the Middle East I am deeply offended by Texas Republican Joe Barton’s Complaint about Obama requiring BP set aside $20 Billion for the People and Businesses of the Gulf Coast.

His defense of and kowtowing to BP executives is NOT supporting efforts to stop or cleanup the spill, but it would encourage Oil Companies to keep Drilling without 3rd Party Insurance and Relief Wells knowing they have him Protecting their Backs instead of Protecting the American People.

The Fight for the Victims is not over:

Remove BP from Cleanup Operation and hire Private Companies to do it and Bill all Expenses to BP.

1. Require all Oil Companies Proof of Insurance to Drill in USA Waters. Oil Companies must get insurance to prove their Drilling Safety preparation. Let Private 3rd Party Insurance Companies bring the power of Private Industry to help insure safe operations.

2. Bring in Oil Supertankers to suck in the Oil and Post Smaller Skimmer Boats closer to the Shore to get out of their way. Supertankers sit lower in the water than Skimmers. It worked in the Persian Gulf and it can work here!

3. Hire Barges to serve as Barrier Walls with Suction Pumps and Separators to Suck the Oil off the water and Dispose of it in Refineries along the coast.

4. Mobilize a Massive Manpower effort with Hazmat Suits and Training to lay Millions of Oil Absorbing Hay Bales and Smart Sponges which Absorb Oil while Repelling Water and Float for easy retrieval, Vacuums to suck up on shore Oil and Sand-Sifting machines, which are capable of cleaning long areas of beach in minutes rather than the hours it takes to do the work by hand.

5. Require 3rd Party Insurance and Secondary Relief Wells for all Current and Future Deep Sea Drilling.

FAUX News and Republican Joe Barton Look Ridiculous in their Defense of BP’s actions and fight against making BP Pay Reparations for their actions that resulted in the Destruction of Hundreds of Billions of USA resources and the Livelihoods of Millions of Americans.

Defending Corporate Murderers and their Criminal Negligence exposes Barton and FAUX news for the Dirty Rich, Oil and Coal Corporate Right Wing Hate Mongering Organization that they are.

Posted by: liveride | June 17, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

This jerk Rep. Barton is apologizing to BP for a 20 billion dollar "shakedown"? This is a sick joke, right? Should the taxpayers bail out BP Barton? This weirdo really believes this, knowing BP's long record of cutting safety corners to save a few bucks?

This Barton fool illuminates the reason people are sick to death of the Republic Party's drive to corporatize America at the expense of the people. After 8 despicable years of Chickenhawk Cheney's campaign to give his corporate pals, especially of course his pet, Halliburton, everything they wanted from the US government and taxpayers, BP seals the case against favoring corporations over people.

Posted by: mongolovesheriff | June 17, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: demtse | June 17, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Barton's a true wingnut--like most Republicans these days. Of course he only cares about Big Corporations, not people. What we should be deeply ashamed about is that twits like this are part of our government.

Posted by: simonflannery | June 17, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

barton is an inert gas: colorless, odorless and tasteless.

Posted by: fred21con | June 17, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

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