BP Chief Hayward Apologizes to House While Rep. Barton Apologizes for Apologizing to Hayward

Tony Hayward, the chief executive of BP, appeared in the House of Representatives to apologize again for the destruction caused by his company. In the meantime, Rep. Joe Barton , R-Arlington, apologized for apologizing earlier to Hayward.

Barton earlier apologized to BP for the “shakedown” of the oil company by the Obama Administration, which has demanded that billions be set aside for victims and damage.

Barton called a $20 billion escrow account for damage claims nothing more than a “slush fund.”

Republicans made it clear that this was not the line they wanted to pursue — even as some conservative leaders continue to suggest that the spill was caused by environmentalists or even a government conspiracy.

Barton issued the following retraction:

“I want the record to be absolutely clear that I think BP is responsible for this accident, should be held responsible and should, in every way, do everything possible to make good on the consequences that have resulted from this accident. If anything I’ve said this morning has been misconstrued in opposite effect, I want to apologize for that misconstruction.”

Back in his district, Barton’s Democratic challenger, David Cozad insisted that the controversy had changed the election and “we’ve got the buzz.” Perhaps, but what Cozad does not have is the cash. He has $253 in his campaign account versus Barton who has more than $1.7 million.

With all of these apologies flying around the Beltway, this prior column on the “art of apology” might be instructive.

For the story, click here.

34 thoughts on “BP Chief Hayward Apologizes to House While Rep. Barton Apologizes for Apologizing to Hayward”

  1. Barbour ups the ante.

    “Governor, what’s worse, the moratorium or the effects of this spill on the region?” asked “Meet the Press” host David Gregory on Sunday. Barbour responded, “Well, the moratorium… the spill’s a terrible thing, but the moratorium is a terrible thing that’s not only bad for the region, it’s bad for America.”


    Any question now that Barbour is a Fascist, er, Republican? Not that there was much question before.

  2. I used to live in Barton’s district. It’s filled with rich oil connected republicans. They are probably going to give him a ticker tape parade when he gets home. This blooper may hurt the repugs in general, but the people in Barton’s district will love him. His democratic opponent has only a few hundred dollars in his war chest.

    As for the so called extortion of BP, I can assure you that BP is all lawyered up (Jamie Gorelick, Democrat operative) and they wouldn’t have agreed to this escrow fund unless they thought it benefitted them PR wise and legally. You can bet that the escrow agreement says that every cent paid out will be credited towards any damages they ultimately have to pay out. Also, they don’t have to fund all the money for 4 years. They may not know how to seal blowout wells a mile under the ocean surface, but they aren’t total dummies. Witness the jetisoning of Tony Hayward.

  3. Surely, whoever is issuing the Republican’s talking points is a mole from the DNC. And he/she’s doing a wonderful job.

  4. From the BBC, words from the mouths of knaves:

    “BP has denied claims by one of its partners that its handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill amounted to “gross negligence”.

    BP said it “strongly disagrees” with Anadarko Petroleum, who said BP’s behaviour in the run-up to the disaster was “reckless”.

    Anadarko, the largest independent oil and gas company operating in the Gulf, owns 25% of the well.”


  5. Buddha:

    agreed but it is a model, not a perfect one but a model nontheless.

    I guess we will find out how close a correlation it will be. Hopefully the depth will offset the volume and things will be back to normal in 3-5 years. Although I probably wont be eating La. oysters anytime soon.

  6. Ixtoc happened in 160 ft of water and was a much smaller volume flow than this every increasing disaster.

  7. Mike:

    the Ixtoc well spill in the late 70’s was gone in a couple of years and biologists were very surprised.
    I still think BP should be on the hook for damages and don’t disagree with the case you sited above. If you cause damage to someone else’s livelihood, you should pay damages to them.

    here is a link to the article:


    But although Ixtoc was a big disaster, it did not develop into the long-term catastrophe that scientists initially thought was inevitable.

    “This is not to say there were no consequences. Just that the evidence is that these are not as dramatic as we feared,” says Luis Soto, a marine biologist from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. “After about two years the recuperation was well on the way.”

    “Sampling a couple of years after the spill indicated the populations were back to normal,” he says. Six years after Ixtoc 1 exploded it was hard to find any evidence of the oil, he says. “It is rather baffling to us all. We don’t really know where it went.”

  8. You are most welcome, Mike. As ever, like the good Senator Franken apparently, one lives to be of service.

  9. Buddha, thanks for the Franken speech. The only thing more enjoyable than reading it would be to listen to him give it in person.

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