"GOP Lawmaker With BP Stock Has Role in Spill Probe"

"A multimillionaire House Republican who owns thousands of shares of BP stock has no plans to recuse himself from a congressional investigation related to the Gulf oil spill or from votes on Capitol Hill that could affect his investments in the oil company.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin has avoided directly criticizing BP for the spill itself. At the same time, he has watched his BP stock tank in value.

Worth more than $251,000 just a few years ago, Sensenbrenner's 3,604 shares of BP PLC stock had plunged in value to just $118,000 by the end of trading Thursday. That's roughly half their value the day before the April 20 oil spill. Sensenbrenner has said his net worth is about $10 million.

The No. 2 Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and a former chairman, Sensenbrenner has kept a low profile on the issue, but now he's coming out swinging: He has written a letter to President Barack Obama questioning BP's actions and the adequacy of the White House response — but refrains from directly criticizing BP for the spill."

Dennis Conrad reports for the Associated Press June 10, 2010.

Friday, June 11, 2010