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Barton makes stronger apology

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, has issued a written statement in response to the controversy over his remarks during BP CEO Tony Hayward's testimony this morning. The written statement goes much further than the apology he made in the hearing the afternoon, when he said he was sorry if anyone "misconstrued" him:

I apologize for using the term "shakedown" with regard to yesterday's actions at the White House in my opening statement this morning, and I retract my apology to BP. As I told my colleagues yesterday and said again this morning, BP should bear the full financial responsibility for the accident on their lease in the Gulf of Mexico. BP should fully compensate those families and businesses that have been hurt by this accident. BP and the federal government need to stop the leak, clean up the damage, and take whatever steps necessary to prevent a similar accident in the future.

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.