Energy Task Force 2001

18 July 2007

Over the past six years, the White House has fought hard to avoid disclosing any information regarding its 2001 Energy Task Force meetings. Over this time, little has been known regarding which interest groups met at the White House to develop our energy plan.

Now, The Washington Post has finally obtained a list of who was at those meetings back in 2001 (story here).

Of course it's no surprise that executives from Exxon, Enron, British Petroleum, etc. were prominent figures in the deliberations. After all, they currently provide a significant portion of this country's energy supply (except for Enron, but that's another story). However, the task force meetings certainly seem to have given short shrift to releasing the country from its dependence on foreign oil, or of taking environmental conerns into account at all.

A confidential list prepared by the Bush administration shows that Cheney and his aides had already held at least 40 meetings with interest groups, most of them from energy-producing industries. By the time of the meeting with environmental groups, according to a former White House official who provided the list to The Washington Post, the initial draft of the task force was substantially complete and President Bush had been briefed on its progress.

Also, it's sad that it took so long for this list to come out. Policy debates such as these should really be more transparent.

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