As Deep Water Drilling Resumes in the Gulf, A Quick Look Back at the BP Gusher to Introduce our Leaders

As deep water drilling resumes in the Gulf, here is a quick introduction to Rep. Ralph Hall (House Science Committee Chairman) and Rep. Joe Barton (very influential member of member of the Energy and Commerce Committee).

Science Committee Chairman (yes, I know I keep repeating that he holds that position) Ralph Hall’s reaction to the BP oil disaster as it was unfolding:

“As we saw that thing bubbling out, blossoming out – all that energy, every minute of every hour of every day of every week – that was tremendous to me. That we could deliver that kind of energy out there – even on an explosion.”

Right. And some dead people and an ecological and economic catastrophe, too, amidst that bubbling and blossoming.

Click here for more.


Smokey Joe Barton, as many of you will recall, was the congressman who apologized to BP executives for the way the government was treating BP after the explosion.  Specifically for the outrageous (?) idea that initial relief funds be set aside by BP.  As drilling of this type resumes, any change in liability laws for such accidents, or any real understanding yet of the magnitude of the economic and environmental impact of Deep Water Horizon?


Special Interests? Oil and Gas $ to Joe Barton


V.P. Biden’s response:


In October of 2002, the Wall Street Journal described Barton as the “House GOP’s leading expert on energy policy.”  All the more remarkable if you have a look at our earlier post about his exchange with Energy Secretary Chu. If you have not watched this exchange, it is one of the things that made me think it might be worth blogging about where our political leaders stand on energy and climate policy.




About Scott Brophy
Scott Brophy is a philosophy professor whose work is focused on the intersection of philosophy and public policy, especially on environmental issues, law, and education. He has also taught philosophy of science, logic, and the history of philosophy. He has served as a consultant for educational programs and schools throughout the U.S. and abroad, and as an adviser to several philanthropic foundations.

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