From The Guardian's report on that exchange, Barton twitted (yes, while everyone else on Twitter "tweets," Barton twits), "I seemed [sic] to have baffled the Energy Sec with basic question - Where does oil come from?"
Barton: Dr Chu, I don't want to leave you out. You're our scientist. I have one simple question for you in the last six seconds. How did all the oil and gas get to Alaska and under the Arctic Ocean?Yeah, Barton, you're our Federal Representative here, and I don't want to leave you out in the last six seconds. Where do laws come from?
Chu: (Laughs) This is a complicated story, but oil and gas is the result of hundreds of millions of years of geology and in that time also the plates have moved around. And so, it's a combination of where the sources of the oil and gas…
Barton: Isn't it obvious that at one time it was a lot warmer in Alaska and on the North Pole? It wasn't a big pipeline that we've created from Texas and shipped it up there and put it under ground so we can now pump it up?
Chu: No, there are continental plates that have been drifting around throughout the geological ages.
Barton: So it just drifted up there.
Chu: Uh…That's certainly what happened. It's a result of things like that.