"U.S. Rep. Joe Barton's Gas Well Stake Raises Ethical Questions"

"WASHINGTON -- Rep. Joe Barton has earned nearly $100,000 from an interest in natural gas wells that he purchased from a longtime campaign donor who also advised the congressman on energy policy, according to interviews and records.

At a hearing last month of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Barton said he was "a small, small partner in a natural gas well in Johnson County in the Barnett Shale that is probably my 4-year-old son's college education." He later told a reporter that he couldn't remember precisely how he obtained the interest.

Land records show that Barton, R-Arlington, purchased his interest from Walter G. Mize, a Cleburne businessman who donated more than $30,000 to Barton's campaigns.

Mize urged Barton to create a federal oil and gas research program that was included in a 2005 energy law. Barton's ties to Mize, who died in 2008, go back 20 years, according to friends of both men."

Dave Michaels reports for the Dallas Morning News February 3, 2010.

See Also:

"Barton Bought Stake in Gas Wells From Lobbyist" (AP)

Source: Dallas News, 02/04/2010