Friday, March 03, 2006

Secret energy meetings public record

Nothing sanitizes like sunlight. Such was the case when the light settled on the "secret energy meetings" between the Bush administration and Big Oil. The pustule of influence peddling is now a matter of record.

As a result of several Freedom of Information Act lawsuits, the U.S. Department of Energy begrudgingly produced almost "13,500 pages relating to previously secret proceedings of the Bush administration's energy task force." Although heavily edited, the energy task force documents read like a "Who's Who" of Big Oil and its progeny. ExxonMobil was one of the Big Oil oligarchs who had extraordinary influence on the Bush administration. The energy task force documents also reflect the Bush administration's verbatim adoption of Big Oil's worldview in matters of U.S. domestic and foreign policy from the "price at the pump" to war.

Ah but, Big Oil's Teapot Dome access to the Bush administration was pricey, involving Jack-Abramoff-like influence peddling. During the 2000 election cycle, ExxonMobil "gave $1,375,250 to political campaigns," 89 percent of which went to Republican candidates. Only one other company eclipsed ExxonMobil. Guess who? If you guessed Enron, you're right!

Don't feel bad for Big Oil; secret meetings and unlimited access to Bush and Cheney pays well. ExxonMobil would later rack up profits of $36 billion, "the highest ever for a U.S. company." According to Deutsche Bank oil analyst, Dr J.J. Traynor, ExxonMobil is the U.S. oil company most likely to benefit from regime change in Iraq.

There's no right-wing conspiracy here. Nah, corruption in the Bush administration is blatant. All you have to do is look.


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