Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) said at today's congressional hearing that he's "ashamed" the White House locked in a $20 billion escrow account from BP for the people of the gulf affected by the oil spill. Calling it a "tragedy of the first proportion," he referred to the fund as a "shakedown." I do find the wording odd ("proportion" aside)--I'd refer to oil spill itself as a tragedy.
BP's irresponsibility has led to the largest environmental disaster in American history, one that wreak untold havok on the livelihoods of people living in states along the Gulf Coast, but Republicans think holding them accountable for it is somehow beyond the pale. According to Open Secrets, Barton has received $1,448,380 from oil and gas companies over the years, so maybe that explains his hostility to making oil companies pay for the damage they cause. But apoplexy over the idea that corporations that cause ecological disasters should be held accountable seems to be the standard Republican response to the agreement.The party of personal responsibility seems to think that corporations, while persons, aren't personally responsible for anything.
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