by David Safier
Just because some commenters on El Blog think Obama's negotiation with BP which resulted in a $20 billion escrow account was reprehensible, I can't resist posting the latest DNC media release which maintains the reprehensible ones are those who stick up for big oil instead of looking out for Gulf Coast residents whose water, land and livelihoods are being smothered by a preventable oil spill.
Why are Reps. Flake, Franks and Shadegg, Defending BP and Opposed to Holding them Accountable?
Flake, Franks and Shadegg Are Part of the Republican Study Committee; That Committee Defends BP, Calls the $20 Billion BP Escrow Account a “Chicago-Style Political Shakedown”
June 18, 2010 – Even as BP CEO Tony Hayward testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the disastrous irresponsibility of the big oil company that led to the worst environmental disaster in US history, some people in Washington amazingly defended both Mr. Hayward and BP. The Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative Members of the House of Representatives, released a statement calling the $20 billion BP escrow account a “Chicago-style political shakedown.” Not a single Republican member denounced this position when it was released. Not one.
In fact, this Republican industry-friendly approach was echoed by RSC member and the highest ranking member of the committee that oversees the oil industry, Joe Barton (R-TX), who not only called the BP accountability fund instituted by the President a “shakedown” but went on to apologize to BP and BP CEO Tony Hayward.
The statement from the Republican Study Committee, which includes Arizona Reps. Flake, Franks and Shadegg, reads: “BP's reported willingness to go along with the White House's new fund suggests that the Obama Administration is hard at work exerting its brand of Chicago-style shakedown politics… These actions are emblematic of a politicization of our economy that has been borne out of this Administration's drive for greater power and control.”
Please see below for a statement from DNC spokesman Ricardo A. Ramírez:
“It is very evident by this statement that Reps. Flake, Frank and Shadegg care more about the bottom line of BP – a company that, through its disastrous irresponsibility and carelessness, resulted in the worst environmental disaster in US history – than the people of the Gulf, our environment and the countless lives that have been affected by their actions. While President Obama works tirelessly to ensure that BP is held fully accountable to the families and small businesses who they have affected, these Arizona Republicans are making it clear they are only accountable to big corporations like BP. Their astonishing misplaced priorities should be taken as an insult to the people of the Gulf and the American people who, if the Republicans got their way, would be footing the bill for the atrocious actions of a big oil company.”
UPDATE: Oh, and there's this video, hot off youtube: