Texas Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) apologized yesterday to BP’s CEO for what, in his view, amounted to a “shakedown” of the “first proportion” over BP’s decision to create a $20 billion fund for those affected by the Deep Water Horizon oil spill.
Barton’s apology did more than just convey his personal feelings; it demonstrated that significant elements of the Republican Party really do favor the business interests of multinational oil companies over the welfare of average Americans. Furthermore, if the Republicans gain control of the House of Representatives, it is very likely that Barton could become the chair of the committee that has jurisdiction over BP’s future behavior.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and other GOP leaders, who have a long history of doing the bidding of special interests, apparently had the political instinct to recognize how unpopular Barton’s comments were and convinced Barton to deliver an apology for his original apology.
Regardless of the apparent “shakedown” that took place in Boehner’s office, Barton’s apology to BP will forever remain a shining example of the Republican Party’s overt preferences for Big Oil over the environment and the interests of hardworking Americans.
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