Rep. Joe Barton is sorry he said he was sorry. His office has now issued a statement retracting his earlier apology to BP further than he did earlier this afternoon during a congressional hearing with BP CEO Tony Hayward.
“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,” Barton said.
As I told my colleagues yesterday and said again this morning, BP should bear the full financial responsibility for the accident on their lease in the Gulf of Mexico. BP should fully compensate those families and businesses that have been hurt by this accident. BP and the federal government need to stop the leak, clean up the damage, and take whatever steps necessary to prevent a similar accident in the future.
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.
This morning, Barton called the escrow fund being set up by BP to help pay for oil spill claims a “$20 billion shakedown” and a “tragedy.”
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com