Republican Joe Barton, who accused the White House on Thursday of a $20 billion "shakedown" of BP, is the biggest recipient of oil and gas money in the House of Representatives.
The 60-year-old Texas lawmaker, who later apologized for using the word "shakedown," has collected at least $1.7 million in political contributions from oil and gas interests over the past two decades, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
Barton, a former oil company consultant, used his seat on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to apologize to BP CEO Tony Hayward and castigate the White House for pressing BP to finance a $20 billion fund for damage claims from its Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
He also later retracted his apology to the company.
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