A son of Waco, Texas, Joe Barton was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1985 and has been reelected ever since, never with a majority of less than 60%. His nickname is “Smokey Joe” because of his environmental record.
This is the man who publicly apologized to BP because the U.S. government had asked BP to contribute to pay for the cleanup. This was when the Gulf oil spill was still pumping into the ocean. Even his fellow Republicans were dumbfounded when he did that.
Barton does not seem to have much of a grasp of science, but that does not stop him from putting in his opinions. For instance, at a hearing on renewable power, he raised the question of whether expanding wind power might actually cause the planet to heat up:
Wind is God’s way of balancing heat. Wind is the way you shift heat from areas where it’s hotter to areas where it’s cooler. That’s what wind is. Wouldn’t it be ironic if in the interest of global warming we mandated massive switches to energy, which is a finite resource, which slows the winds down, which causes the temperature to go up? Now, I’m not saying that’s going to happen, Mr. Chairman, but that is definitely something on the massive scale. I mean, it does make some sense. You stop something, you can’t transfer that heat, and the heat goes up. It’s just something to think about.
Here is something I would like you to think about, Mr. Barton: The BP oil spill was far worse than we knew. Here are some facts they don’t want us to know.
Three years after the disaster in the Gulf, BP’s horrifying cover-up is finally being exposed. The company pleaded guilty to 14 felonies, one of which included lying to Congress. They were fined $4.5 billion, more than anyone in history for an environmental disaster. 210 million gallons of Louisiana sweet crude gushed into the Gulf during the 87 days it took to plug the well. Check this report to find out how a ‘miracle dispersant’ not only damaged the Gulf ecosystem, but poisoned the cleanup workers as well.
With minds like Joe Barton watching out for us in the United States Congress, what’s there to worry about when large companies try to mess with us?