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Republicans offer BP Apologies

20 Jun

What is wrong with these people??

Top Republicans Offer BP Apologies, Tips to Avoid Accountability


Protest Signs, originally uploaded by duncandavidson.

Photograph by James Duncan Davidson

Just to be clear, it was BP that caused what is now generally recognized as the worst environmental disaster in American history.

It was BP that provided unsound information about the crisis and its aftermath, creating a false sense that the spill could be more easily contained than was reasonable to imagine.

It was BP that tried to prevent monitoring of the spill that so threatens the Gulf Coast and the environments and economies of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

So now that President Obama is getting a little tougher on the company-and it should be emphasized that the White House remains far too cautious a player-who are key Republicans in Congress feeling sorry for?

BP.


Burning Oil, originally uploaded by duncandavidson.

Burning oil on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

Photograph by James Duncan Davidson

After Obama successfully pressured BP to guarantee that it would set aside at least $20 billion in an accountability escrow fund that will be used to meet the needs of Gulf Coast residents who have lost-or will lose-their homes and their livelihoods as a result of the spill, one of the most powerful Republicans in the House apologized.

As the ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Texas Congressman Joe Barton opened the committee hearing with BP CEO Tony Hayward: “I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday.  I think it is a tragedy in the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown-in this case a $20 billion shakedown-with the attorney general of the United States, who is legitimately conducting a criminal investigation and has every right to do so to protect the American people, participating in what amounts to a $20 billion slush fund that’s unprecedented in our nation’s history, which has no legal standing, which I think sets a terrible precedent for our nation’s future.”

Then, speaking directly to Hayward, Barton added: “I’m not speaking for anyone else, but I apologize. I do not want to live in a county where anytime a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong, [it is] subject to some sort of political pressure that, again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown.”

Barton’s not an outlier. Other prominent Republicans are rallying to BP’s defense. Minnesota Congressman Michele Bachmann counseled that: “[If] I was the head of BP, I would let the signal get out there-‘We’re not going to be chumps, and we’re not going to be fleeced.’ And they shouldn’t be. They shouldn’t have to be fleeced and make chumps to have to pay for perpetual unemployment and all the rest-they’ve got to be legitimate claims.”

The problem, explained Bachmann is not BP but Obama. “The other thing we have to remember is that Obama loves to make evil whatever company it is that he wants to get more power from,” griped the conservative Congresswoman.

Congressman Ed Markey, the Massachusetts Democrat, had the right official response: “Not only is the compensation fund that was created yesterday…not a slush fund, and not a shakedown…. (Rather) it was the government of the United States working to protect the most vulnerable citizens we have in our country right now. It is BP’s spill, but it is America’s ocean.”

The unofficial response should be to hand Republicans like Barton and Bachmann the microphone and invite them to continue to apologize to a company that is now so untrusted-and unpopular-that, according to a new Gallup/USA Today poll, 59 percent of Americans say it should be required “to pay for all costs associated with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill even if it drives the company out of business.”

© 2010 The Nation

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9 responses to “Republicans offer BP Apologies

  1. hippieprof

    June 20, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Amazing, isn’t it?

    My hope is that more and more and more of them come out and support BP – that will be a really losing issue for them come election time.

    — hp

     
  2. davisoftheapes1

    June 20, 2010 at 11:58 am

    How do we know that the oil spill wasn’t perpetrated by Environmentalist Whackos and it backfired? Hell, for that matter, how do we know that Rahm Emanuel and Barney Frank didn’t do it? They’re evil bastards.

     
  3. hippieprof

    June 20, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Davis, you may be on to something. Actually, I suspect it was Obama (the secret Muslim) who did it. It is clearly a ploy to destroy the oil industry in the Western Hemisphere and thus hand more power over to the Muslims. Yeah… that’s the ticket….

    God help me if anyone reads this and actually things I am serious….

     
  4. Gracie

    June 20, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    LOL @ hippieprof – I’ve learned the power of propaganda and davisoftheapes1 just parrots those right wing talking points. How ANYBODY could defend the BP criminals is beyond my comprehension. I’m actually surprised he didn’t blame Bill Clinton, too. 🙂

     
  5. hippieprof

    June 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    I’ve learned the power of propaganda and davisoftheapes1 just parrots those right wing talking points.

    OMG… I actually thought he was being sarcastic. You mean he really believes that?

     
  6. davisoftheapes1

    June 20, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Well, they tried to get him to assist, but, he was busy getting another hummer from Monica. (Or, Barney Frank)

     
  7. Gracie

    June 20, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Who knows, hippie!!! 🙂

    Are you for real, davisoftheapes1???? Sure hope not but it wouldn’t surprise me – I’m surrounded by right-wingers!

     
  8. graychin

    June 21, 2010 at 8:11 am

    It’s often very hard to distinguish right-wing Obama-hating talking points from articles posted at the Onion.

    http://www.politicususa.com/en/limbaugh-oil-rig

    Correction – most Onion articles make more sense than that.

    I don’t know Davis, so I don’t know if he’s serious about the spill being an environmentalist conspiracy, or if he’s just got a strange sense of humor.

    (Gracie – I like your blog. I’ll be back. – G)

     
  9. Gracie

    June 21, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Davis needs to note if it’s sarcasm since many people believe this nonsense. You know we’ve reached a bad place when you have to start questioning the Onion’s satirical pieces. One recently about Sarah Palin sounded like something she’d say.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting – come back anytime.

     

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