If Rep. Joe Barton was entertaining any fantasies that his apology to BP for the government “shakedown” of the oil company in the form of the $20 billion compensation fund had any support among the public, he will be sorely disappointed by the most recent public opinion data. According to TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira’s latest ‘Public Opinion Snapshot” at the Center for American Progress web pages, the compensation fund is extremely popular:
…That’s not the way the public feels about this new fund. They approve of it by an overwhelming 82-18 margin in a new CNN poll.
By an even larger margin, notes Teixeira, the public wants BP to fund and carry out corrective action to end the spill as the company’s highest priority:
Nor does the public seem very conflicted about how compensation funds and cleanup efforts may interfere with BP’s profitability–a concern that has been raised by many conservatives. In the same poll, 92 percent think BP’s top priority should be cleaning up the oil spill and paying for the damage it has caused rather than protecting the interests of its investors and employees by continuing to make profits.
The data ought to convince even BP CEO Tony Hayward and Rep. Barton that they have one course of action, as Teixeira says: it’s “Time for BP to pay up, clean up, and quit complaining.”