A GOP Gum Wrapper

Abby Zimet

Leave it to a Texas Republican, one Rep. Joe Barton, to do the
unimaginable: Apologize to BP for, umm, getting mad at
them for trashing our country. The White House was so pissed they asked Congress to repudiate the apology.
They should have asked Barton to come clean on how much money the oil
industry's given him: $1.4 million and counting. Or they could have
asked him to repeat his lavish praise, at a 2004 energy hearing, of the marvels of offshore drilling.

"Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing on
ultradeep water research

and development. There have been enormous technological advances in oil
and gas

exploration and production in recent decades. Offshore drilling and

platforms are so technologically advanced that one platform on the
surface of

the water can handle production from several different wells several

apart, house a myriad of technologically advanced computer systems,

scores of personnel, generate electricity, enable people to face and
conquer the

adversities of living in the middle of the ocean, and do so 24 hours a
day, 7

days a week; all without so much as losing a gum wrapper over the side
of the

platform. It is truly amazing."

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