talk about keeping our "family disagreements behind closed doors" this guy publicly apologizes for the president trying to secure funds, while the worst oil spill continues to destroy the environment and out coastlines and guess who paid to put him in office. abusing the public's trust and acting in the interests of industry and not the citizens should be considered a treasonous act A Texas congressman with a tin ear gave Tony Hayward, the embattled honcho of reviled oil giant BP, something totally unexpected on Thursday - an apology. Rep. Joe Barton, a Republican whose sprawling district includes Houston, called Hayward the victim of a "$20 billion shakedown." "I apologize," Barton told Hayward. "I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it's a tragedy." Barton was referring to President Obama's faceoff with the BP barons that ended with the oil company saying sorry for the mammoth oil spill currently fouling the Gulf of Mexico - and promising to finance a $20 billion fund to compensate the victims. Hayward, who was bracing to be raked over the coals at the Congressional hearing, appeared to be taken aback by Barton's apology. Rep. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, quickly slapped back at Barton, saying the compensation fund was "not a slush fund, not a shakedown." "It was the government of the United States working to protect the most vulnerable citizens that we have in our country right now, the residents of the Gulf," he said. Barton is one of Big Oil's biggest boosters. And he has taken $1.4 million in campaign contributions from the industry since 1989, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Barton's backers have been political action committees and employees of Anadarko Petroleum, Exxon Mobil and Valero Energy, the watchdog group reported. In earlier statements, Barton said he held BP accountable for the environmental disaster but said the committee should also be looking into the Obama administration's response to the spill. Barton has also opposed attempts to more tightly regulate the oil industry. Read more: Texas Rep. Joe Barton apologizes to BP CEO Tony Hayward over White House's '$20 billion shakedown'