Fox in the Hen House

It has been nearly a month since Appeals Court Justice Emmet Sullivan ruled to dismiss the case of Cheney vs. U.S. District Court with the following perplexing statement.

“There is nothing to indicate that nonfederal employees had a right to vote on committee matters or exercise a veto over committee proposals.”

If you recall, the case was brought by the right leaning Judicial Watch in partnership with the left leaning Sierra Club in an effort to force Vice President Cheney to make public the list of people involved in the formation of the Administrations energy policy. Some including myself believe that the release of these documents would have proven that the energy industry had an unfair hand in the drafting of this policy.

Well, today the The New York Times and its foreign paper, the International Herald Tribune are reporting that Philip Cooney, chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality and former lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industries biggest lobbyist, repeatedly altered government climate reports in “ways that play down the links between such emissions and global warming.”

In handwritten notes on drafts of several reports issued in 2002 and 2003, the official, Philip Cooney, removed or adjusted descriptions of climate research that government scientists and their supervisors, including some senior Bush administration officials, had already approved. In most cases, the changes appeared in the final reports.

This is exactly the type of corporate manipulation of our government that has so many on the right and left up in arms. It is simply appalling that this Administration can parade around claiming to represent the interests of U.S. citizens, all the while allowing big corporate interests to manipulate scientific data for solely their interests. This revelation proves once again that even had the release of the Cheney Energy Task force documents shown that current lobbyists were not voting committe members, their interests were certainly more represented than those of U.S. citizens. Can someone tell me why this is so acceptable to the “President can do no wrong” crowd?

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