Monday, July 21, 2003

How are a map of Iraqi oilfields and lists of "contract suitors" relevant to US energy policy?

Judicial Watch, a conservative legal watchdog organization, began a lawsuit to force VP Cheney's office to divulge the names of energy industry figures who attended closed-door meetings to formulate the Bush energy policy. It is suspected that promises of large campaign contributions were made to the Bush Administration in return for passage of an energy bill that is essentially one giant package of subsidies to the industry.

Under court order, the VP's office has released some rather enigmatic documents, maps of Iraqi oilfields, and lists of "contract suitors", foreign companies who have contracts for oilfield services, exploration, or extraction of Iraqi oil resources. There is no explanation of what these materials were used for, or even if they were used, during discussions. One wonders, though, with administration talk of privatization of Iraqi oil fields, whether divvying up the wealth of Iraq amongst American energy companies wasn't a part of those discussions. And wouldn't that be interesting as these documents are dated March 2001, seven months before 9/11 propelled into war in the Middle East? Yet another piece of proof that the war was planned long before the administration found a cynical way to justify it on 9/11?

Howard Dean's energy policy will not be set behind closed doors in secretive meetings with energy industry executives. He will set ambitious goals for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and fuel economy standards to finally reduce American dependence on foreign oil. He will challenge American automakers to embrace change by meeting ambitious CAFE standards. Dean will not tolerate America's energy sector being allowed to suckle at the teat of Congress, bribing their way to influence and access, which hurts consumers and taxpayers. He will be a responsible and innovative steward of the environment while rebuilding our devastated economy. And Howard Dean will not trade the blood of our nation's youth for oil.


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