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June 17, 2010

Barton: Taken To The Woodshed, Retracts Apology To BP

Full, unreserved pullback.

He's sorry not only about apologizing to BP but also for calling it "a shakedown".

Part of the statement.

“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.

So much for the idea that he wasn't apologizes to BP directly that some floated in the earlier thread.

Looks like Boehner laid down the law.

House Republican leaders told Rep. Joe Barton that he would be stripped of his ranking member status on a key committee Thursday if he did not immediately apologize for comments earlier in the day accusing President Obama of a “shakedown” of oil giant BP, sources told the Daily Caller.

If they really threatened him with pulling him from a committee spot, they wanted to knock him down. Hard.

I gather there will be many who will be upset about this and think this is unfair. But you know what? November is the prize. Repealing health care is the mission. Unforced errors that even hint at defending BP, the most hated company in America at the moment (and not without some cause) isn't helping that. This kind of smackdown shows just how serious leadership is about enforcing message discipline.

Related enough: I put this in the comments of the earlier thread but it's worth noting...Sen. Chuck Grasley says he has a letter from BP saying they didn't test the Blowout Preventer (which BP CEO Tony Hayward is the most important fail safe device on these rigs). See, they knew that federal law required it but MMS never asked about it so they didn't do it.

On the issue of the blowout preventer's capabilities, Grassley asked BP to show that it is in compliance with the Code of Federal Regulations Chapter 30, Section 250.416(e), which requires oil companies to provide the Minerals Management Service with proof that the massive safety devices they use to close off wells are "capable of shearing the drill pipe in the hole under maximum anticipated surface pressures."

The company responded that it applies for permits to drill oil wells "in accordance with the process prescribed by MMS officials," but goes on to say that it was not "MMS practice" to require anyone to comply with that particular section of the law.

If the blowout preventer is found to be defective, that $20 billion, shakedown or not, is going to be a drop in the bucket of what it's going to cost BP.


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posted by DrewM. at 05:01 PM

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