Starting on June 17, BP CEO, Tony Hayward was alone and being grilled by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce in their hearing entitled “The Role of BP in the Deepwater Horizon Explosion and Oil Spill.” On June 21, he received an apology from Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) for the way he and his company are being treated. The previous day, the Obama Administration had forced BP to agree to a $20 billion fund to be set up and administered by a third party to cover damages from the oil spill. BP had already pledged to pay all claims and this fund seemed to Barton and to many others like an unnecessary and insulting shakedown, especially as BP is not an American company. Barton said: •”I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy of 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.” He further described it as a “$20 billion slush fund that’s unprecedented in our nation’s history, that’s got no legal standing, and which sets, I think, a terrible precedent for the future.” •”I’m speaking now totally for myself,” he noted. “I’m not speaking for the Republican Party.” His apology to BP caused a flurry of reactions, some supportive, from conservatives, and some furious, from liberals. Barton later tried to clarify his remarks, saying in part: •”…I regret the impact that my statement this morning implied that BP should not pay for the consequences of their decisions and actions in this incident.” Too many people had misconstrued his remarks as saying that he did not want BP to pay any compensation. He did not mean that. The “tragedy in the first proportion” was not BP paying claims; it was the insulting way the White House had treated BP, a company belonging to our ally, Great Britain, and therefore deserving of some courtesy. On the assumption that BP, despite its pledge, would not otherwise have paid any compensation to Gulf residents, attorneys at Long & Long, PC regard the $20 million fund as a victory for the Gulf people. In response to a letter from David Plouffe (Obama’s campaign manager during 2008 and now a partner at the media firm AKP&D Message and Media, which promotes Democrat party candidates), we ask you to sign your name on this website to support the Democrat party in re-iterating that BP should be held accountable. Please see our page on the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill for more information about the whole situation. To schedule a free case review with one of our oil spill attorneys, please call or email our Mobile, Alabama law office today.