Smoking gun: the oil companies did write America’s energy policy

Short­ly after the Bush Admin­is­tra­tion took office, Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney held a series of secret meet­ings in the White House that have guid­ed America’s ener­gy pol­i­cy over the last four years. The White House has refused repeat­ed requests for a list of par­tic­i­pants at the “task force” meet­ings. All we’ve known for sure is who wasn’t invit­ed: eniron­men­tal­ists and any­one else who might bring a per­spec­tive crit­i­cal of America’s depen­dence on fos­sil fuels.
We’ve long sus­pect­ed that Cheney’s spe­cial guests were top oil com­pa­ny exec­u­tives and that these con­sul­tants large­ly wrote the ener­gy guide­lines that came out of the meet­ing. The pol­i­cy strong favor the eco­nom­ic inter­ests of “Big Oil” over envi­ron­men­tal or nation­al secu­ri­ty con­cerns. The oil com­pa­nies have repeat­ed­ly denied being at the meet­ings: Just last week, oil indus­try offi­cials from Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Cono­coPhillips tes­ti­fied at a joint hear­ing of the Sen­ate Ener­gy and Com­merce com­mit­tees that their employ­ees had been part of Cheney’s ener­gy task force.
Liar liar, pants on fire.
The Wash­ing­ton Post has obtained a White House doc­u­ment that exec­u­tives from Big Oil did indeed meet with the ener­gy task force in 2001. Inves­ti­ga­tions are in order. Sen­a­tor Frank Laut­en­berg of New Jer­sey said “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.” This issue is impor­tant not only to Wash­ing­ton Belt­way insid­ers but to all of us. Dis­as­ters like Hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na and the ongo­ing quag­mire in iraq are fueled by Amer­i­can ener­gy needs. As long as we have Big Oil dic­tat­ing our ener­gy pol­i­cy we will con­tin­ue to have these wars and cli­mate tragedies. Peo­ple will die, lives will be ruined and we will all be taxed for our oil misadventures.