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Texas Lawmaker Apologizes to BP CEO for '$20 Billion Shakedown'

Texas Lawmaker Apologizes to BP CEO for '$20 Billion Shakedown' 17 Jun 2010 In an unexpected move, a top House Republican today offered an apology to BP PLC for what he called a White House "shakedown" of the British oil giant. Texas Rep. Joe Barton, the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, said that President Obama went too far in pressuring BP to fund a $20 billion escrow account to pay for environmental and economic damages resulting from the ongoing Gulf of Mexico oil spill. "I am ashamed of what happened at the White House yesterday," Barton said. "I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would consider a shakedown, in this case a $20 billion shakedown."