Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Document Says Oil Chiefs Met With Cheney Task Force

WHAT a surprise.

Document Says Oil Chiefs Met With Cheney Task Force

By Dana Milbank and Justin Blum
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, November 16, 2005; Page A01

A White House document shows that executives from big oil companies met with Vice President Cheney's energy task force in 2001 -- something long suspected by environmentalists but denied as recently as last week by industry officials testifying before Congress.

The document, obtained this week by The Washington Post, shows that officials from Exxon Mobil Corp., Conoco (before its merger with Phillips), Shell Oil Co. and BP America Inc. met in the White House complex with the Cheney aides who were developing a national energy policy, parts of which became law and parts of which are still being debated.

In a joint hearing last week of the Senate Energy and Commerce committees, the chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips said their firms did not participate in the 2001 task force. The president of Shell Oil said his company did not participate "to my knowledge," and the chief of BP America Inc. said he did not know.

Chevron was not named in the White House document, but the Government Accountability Office has found that Chevron was one of several companies that "gave detailed energy policy recommendations" to the task force. In addition, Cheney had a separate meeting with John Browne, BP's chief executive, according to a person familiar with the task force's work; that meeting is not noted in the document.

The task force's activities attracted complaints from environmentalists, who said they were shut out of the task force discussions while corporate interests were present. The meetings were held in secret and the White House refused to release a list of participants. The task force was made up primarily of Cabinet-level officials. Judicial Watch and the Sierra Club unsuccessfully sued to obtain the records.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who posed the question about the task force, said he will ask the Justice Department today to investigate. "The White House went to great lengths to keep these meetings secret, and now oil executives may be lying to Congress about their role in the Cheney task force," Lautenberg said.

Posted by crimnos @ 8:43 AM

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So Bush was wrong about WMDs. Now 2000+ are dead, $200 billion is spent, 15,000+ wounded and maimed, with no end in sight. Pretty expensive mistake. Don't we pay the president to get it right? Isn't this mistake alone enough to condemn him? Other people and countries -- including the oft-maligned French -- were telling him he was wrong. He ignored them all. He was determined to go to war, no matter what the real threats were. He did not use war as a last resort, as he said he would. I think that ignoring the truth, along with sending men into battle with faulty intelligence ought to be a punishable offense.

I know that if I cost our country 2000 lives and $200 billion I would be in big trouble. The president should be in big trouble. Getting it wrong ought to matter and it ought to have consequences. Getting it wrong certainly has had consequences for the 2000+ dead and the 15,000+ wounded and maimed. It certainly has consequences for all our citizens and for our economy. President Bush seems to be trying to pass the buck. Where does the buck stop? Don't we need to get people in there who don't make the kinds of mistakes that George W. Bush makes? Hmmm?

They got it wrong on pre-war intelligence, wrong on Katrina, wrong on tax cuts for the rich, wrong on cuts in benefits for the poor, wrong on burgeoning deficits. How much else are they wrong about? How long are we going to take it? George W. Bush and the Republicans are just Wrong for America.

Posted by Blogger Ed Bremson @ 1:23 PM #
 

I entirely agree with your sentiment, however this is not the first time it's happened, our sentiment against this sort of evil is just louder than it's been since Vietnam.

Remember Noriega? We sent troops there not as a last resort, but based on a situation that didn't exist and all we got was dead soldiers, dead civilians and supposed "drugs" that ended up being tamales wrapped in banana leaves.

It can't just be about partisanship. Yes Bush is bad, yes Cheney is bad, and they are probably the worst. But our anger, outrage and frustration has to be committed to holding both houses accountable.

I'm glad to see you are reading Junkheaps blog. Readership is skyrocketing in the progressive blogosphere.

Posted by Blogger Jessica @ 3:56 PM #
 

I meant Crimnos' blog, not Junkheap's blog...

Posted by Blogger Jessica @ 3:57 PM #
 
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