Profiling Team Romney: US Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas
by Ron Kotrba (Ethanol Producer Magazine) Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s short list of possible energy secretaries includes Tea Party-backed U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, the House energy committee chairman who gained infamy for his apology to BP’s CEO Tony Hayward during congressional hearings in 2010, as the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe unfolded.
…When it comes to energy, Barton self-admittedly has made a public service career out of deregulating the oil and gas industry and opposing U.S. EPA environmental regulations.
…In defense of Barton’s position on renewable energies, he introduced the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the comprehensive bill that introduced the nation’s first renewable fuel standard, signed into law by Pres. George W. Bush. Despite its inclusion of RFS1, the legislation, however, was largely touted as means to expedite domestic oil and gas development.
In fact, the act specifically excluded hydraulic fracturing fluids from the Safe Drinking Water Act, meaning oil and gas companies need not disclose chemicals used in fracking fluids that have contaminated ground water supplies in several documented cases.
Two years later, Barton voted against passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, in which the significantly expanded renewable fuel standard (RFS2) was passed.
…“His website has no mention of biofuels, let alone biodiesel. He has urged the DOE to stop spending money on alternative fuels and the only concession to renewables is wind and solar.” READ MORE