Is Republican Joe Barton divorced from reality about the gulf spill and BP's culpability?

Monster blog, Boing Boing, posted about today’s shenanigans in Washington whereby a GOP senator, Joe Barton, basically apologized to BP for how the White House handled the oil spill that threatens wild life and the livelihood of countless Americans in the Gulf. Barton described the $20 billion compensation package that the president negotiated on behalf of those affected by the disaster as a “Chicago style shakedown” before a  House Energy and Commerce subcommittee panel this morning.
Is Mr. Barton just a political conniver? Los Angeles Times:

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Barton is the largest recipient of oil and gas industry contributions in the House, getting $1,447,880 from individuals in the industry and its political action committees since 1989.

Or is he really divorced from reality? Oh wait. Just heard he retracted his apology over a cup of tea. So, much ado about nothing. But why would he have apologized in the first place? Is he trying to get corporate money to fund his campaign or what?….sorry….am a political novice and get confused by these things. What what this guy thinking?