At a Congressional hearing Thursday, U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R – Texas) apologizes to BP Ceo Tony Heyward for the “Chicago-style shakedown” of the oil industry giant to the tune of $20 billion. Now U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner (R – Mobile) calls on U.S. Rep. Joe Barton to step down as the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for apologizing to BP.
There is no other way to say it… Joe’s comments were stupid and extremely insensitive to the hundreds of thousands of people who live along the Gulf Coast – many in my district – who are literally watching their way of life be destroyed by this catastrophe. While, admittedly, the people in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi could probably care less about what some congressman is saying at a hearing in Washington, D.C., I am confident no one along the Gulf Coast believes BP is due an apology for their role in this disaster.
Bonner is the second Gulf Coast Congressman to call for Barton to step down from the committee post, joining Florida Republican Jeff Miller.
Barton retracted his apology to BP and had called Bonner to apologize for any harm caused by his remarks, but Bonner ‘cannot walk away’:
“When a member of Congress is apologizing to a company that is raping the Gulf Coast of America, I cannot walk away from that comment easily,” Bonner told POLITICO in an interview Friday afternoon. “It is, to me, more than a 24-hour-news-cycle comment. It has consequences.”