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“Congressman Barton may think that a fund to compensate these Americans is a ‘tragedy’, but most Americans know that the real tragedy is what the men and women of the Gulf Coast are going through right now,” said the statement from the White House Press Office.

Newly disclosed documents obtained by the Associated Press show that after the Deepwater Horizon sank in Apirl, BP made a worst-case estimate of 2.5 million gallons a day flowing into the Gulf of Mexico. That figure is far higher than the company had said publicly until this week, when the government released its own worst-case estimate of about that amount.