WSJ: Barton “rightly called” White House “pressure” on BP “a shakedown”

In a June 18 editorial, The Wall Street Journal stated that, while BP “does not deserve the apology” offered by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), it agreed that Barton “rightly called” White House “pressure” on BP “a shakedown.”

From the WSJ editorial:

There was in particular no reason for BP to compound its error and agree to spend another $100 million to compensate the oil workers sidelined by the Administration's policy choice to impose a drilling moratorium. BP had no liability for these costs, and its concession further separated its compensation from proper legal order.

BP deserves to pay full restitution for the damage it has caused, but it ought to do so via legal means, not under what Texas Republican Joe Barton rightly called the pressure of “a shakedown” yesterday. On the other hand, BP does not deserve the apology that Mr. Barton also offered, though he quickly backtracked when the White House pounced on his comments.