Thursday, June 17, 2010

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton apologizes to BP CEO for '$20 billion shakedown'

The Dallas Morning News
10:46 AM CDT on Thursday, June 17, 2010

By MELANIE MASON / The Dallas Morning News

"WASHINGTON – Rep. Joe Barton , R-Arlington, apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward on Thursday morning for the "political pressure" his company is facing.

Barton condemned the White House's handling of a meeting Wednesday with BP officials, in which President Barack Obama pushed the company to create a $20 billion escrow account for damage claims from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The congressman called the account a "slush fund."

Barton made the remarks at a House Energy and Commerce committee hearing that is ongoing. Hayward is before the committee to testify about his company’s handling of spill.

"I am ashamed of what happened at the White House yesterday," said Barton, the top Republican on the committee. "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."' More>>>>

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