Skip to main content

Dick Cheney must be rolling over in his new bunker. He apparently is the only one who didn't get an invitation to the party for polluters hosted on the Hill by Congressional Republicans. That's OK, I guess, since Senate and House Republicans stand ready to pick up where Cheney's secret energy task force left off.

POLITICO broke the news that top staffers of Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), the new chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), ranking member of the Senate Environment & Public Works Comittee, met behind closed doors with the energy industry earlier this week "to lay the groundwork for a sweeping Republican-led effort to undercut Obama's climate agenda." Reportedly their plan is to enlist "unwavering support from a host of industries for an all-out push to block federal and state climate rules" in addition to rolling back EPA's new clean air standards. 

"The feedback we got was 'hey, great, go for it guys,'" one Republican aide told POLITICO. "And we pretty strongly told them we do need your help to get this done. And when we walked away from the meeting the feeling was we got that."

Although the meeting was secret, the energy lobbyists in the room are believed to be shilling for the American Petroleum Institute, National Mining Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among other corporate interests.

Calling in the polluters to convert their wish list into an industry-friendly legislative agenda is straight out of the Bush-Cheney playbook. 

I recall the spring of 2002, when a federal judge ordered the U.S. Department of Energy to released to NRDC roughly 13,500 pages relating to previously secret proceedings of the Bush administration's energy task force. The president had formed this task force in early 2001 to develop a national energy policy, with Vice President Cheney at the helm.

Even though the government heavily censored the documents before supplying them to NRDC, they revealed that Bush administration officials sought extensive advice from utility companies and the oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy industries, and incorporated their recommendations, often word for word, into the energy plan. This plan provided the manual for the regulatory rollbacks that followed, which I tracked as the head of our Bush Record project.

Now we see history repeating itself. The foxes are being called back in -- this time to dismantle the henhouse rather than guard it. 

I know from experience that secret meetings with energy lobbyists spell bad news for public health and natural resources. Fortunately, I also know that the American people don't like it when politicians put polluter profits before public interest.

Originally posted to rperks on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 09:17 AM PST.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site