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MW - Critics of Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force hope documents released this week will detail how much influence industry heavy-hitters had over national policy. Energy executives predict a big yawn. While eagerly sought White House records Cheney dick energy foia force task under lock and key, the Department of Energy and eight other federal agencies will begin releasing thousands of pages of documents Monday - more than 7, pages from the DOE alone - that describe the workings of the task force last year, after court orders forced their hands.

Critics of the White House hope the release, stemming from Freedom of Information Act lawsuits by Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm, and The Natural Resources Defense Council, a liberal environmental group, may help answer the question of why the Bush administration won't discuss Cheney dick energy foia force task task force deliberations. Several energy industry groups also confirmed they had access to task force representatives. But many environmental groups complained they were either given limited access or ignored completely.

Several of the executives who met with either Cheney or his task force officials said they can't explain the mystery about why the papers are being withheld, claiming they only urged policies that they had already advocated in public many times in the past. It aims to examine any minutes and other documents closely for details of meetings between department officials and energy industry representatives.

The energy task force report was unveiled last May. At the time, soaring gasoline prices, regional electricity shortages and fears of a long-running energy crisis loomed large.

The report contained recommendations weighted toward increased energy production, such as expanded oil and gas production, including opening part of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge ANWR to exploration. The report also offered measures friendly to the coal and nuclear power industries.

Environmental groups contend it favored Bush's energy industry allies and campaign supporters, including collapsed energy giant Enron ENRNQwhile giving short shrift to conservation-oriented measures. The Republican-controlled House last year passed an energy package that reflected many of the report's recommendations. The Democratic-controlled Senate is debating its own version of energy legislation. The administration has defended the report.

Officials contend that Cheney dick energy foia force task increased domestic energy production is crucial to decreasing dependence on foreign oil, the report also called for increased conservation and increased use of renewable energy sources. Fitton said the public has a right to know what Komik hentai time watch were represented, how much weight they carried, and why.

That's the issue," he said. Meanwhile, the White House, which isn't subject to FOIA, is headed for a first-ever court battle with the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, over its refusal to turn over logs Breast nipples emma sinclair contacts between energy industry officials and Cheney and his staff.

Judicial Watch has also sued the White House, charging that the secrecy surrounding the meetings violates federal open meeting laws. Cheney's office earlier this year said that Enron officials met six times with the vice president or his aides ahead of the task force report's release.

Other than that revelation, which came in response to inquiries by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif. The White House says the administration always planned to turn over agency-level documents, but insists that contacts by Cheney and his staff shouldn't be disclosed. Cheney dick energy foia force task do so, Bush says, would undermine the White House's ability to obtain candid advice from outsiders.

As the legal battles continue, a picture of the task force's contacts with energy industry and environmental groups has already started to emerge from interviews with major energy companies, environmental groups and Washington-based trade associations.

Most energy companies and their trade groups expressed no opinion on the White House's legal tussles, saying they had nothing to hide. They say their recommendations reflected well-known, well-publicized positions they've advocated for years.

On Feb 14,ExxonMobil officials met with task force members for 45 minutes. On the same day, they made an identical presentation to the GAO and Democratic and Republican staff members of the House and Senate energy committees. Over the years we have expressed them publicly through our op-eds, speeches and during media visits. These same views have been shared with previous and current U. The company also weighed in through the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry's top Washington trade group.

A Phillips P spokesman said the company provided most of its input through its trade groups ahead of the task force report's release last May. Chief Executive Jim Mulva and its top lobbyist, Don Duncan, met with Cheney late last summer or early in the fall to discuss the company's plans to discuss the proposed Arctic Gas Cheney dick energy foia force task project, which would bring natural gas trapped in Alaska to the lower 48 states, the spokesman said.

Long a proponent of opening up federal lands to drilling and easing regulations associated with exploration programs, Allison met with Cheney about a year ago, said company spokeswoman Theresa Wong. Not all oil companies were willing to discuss their contacts, however. Energy trade groups, meanwhile, emphasized that their reason Cheney dick energy foia force task being is in large part to articulate their particular industry's views inside the Beltway.

Brian Petty, senior vice president for government affairs at the International Association of Drilling Contractors, said his group and others occasionally had the task force's ear.

He added that Cheney gave a lot of weight to the input provided by trade associations. He Cheney dick energy foia force task want to give the appearance of [favoring] any one company's particular interest. Chris Kelley, a spokesman for the American Petroleum Institute, which represents oil and adjunct companies including the majors, said the group speaks out on all public policy issues affecting the industry. The API met with policymakers, Congress, the administration and state level authorities, he said.

Pat McMurray, spokeswoman for the Edison Electric Institute, which represents independent power companies, said the organization's position on building more power plants and transmission lines Hooters girl legs spread other issues has been clear for years.

More than 70 other utility executives were in the room at the time. Environmental groups, meanwhile contend that their views were ignored and that what few contacts they had with the task force were perfunctory at best. Elizabeth Thompson, legislative director for Environmental Defense, said the organization and a host of other environmental groups met with Andrew Lundquist, the executive director of the task force, on April 4.

But the crowded meeting saw participants talk about "everything from global warming to drilling in the Arctic refuge," with little time to go into detail, she said. It was, I think, generically speaking a kind of check-it-off-the-list kind of contact," she said. Howard Geller, former executive director of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, said efforts to gain the task force's ear to discuss energy efficiency issues Cheney dick energy foia force task repeatedly ignored or put off.

Geller said he was finally able to get a meeting with Lundquist just days before the task force report's release, when it was too late to make any meaningful changes. Economic Calendar Tax Withholding Calculator. Retirement Planner. Sign Up Cheney dick energy foia force task In. Behind the energy task force. By William L.

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