And The Lies Keep Piling Up

Back in May an appellate court ruled in the case of Cheney vs. U.S. District Court to deny the public access to papers related to Dick Cheney’s Energy Task Force. The case was brought by The Sierra Club and Judicial Watch in an attempt to expose energy industry collusion in the Bush administration’s energy policy.

Today, six months later, the Washington Post has revealed through documents it has obtained that not only did these energy industry officials most certainly participate in these meetings, they also lied about their participation to a joint hearing of the Senate Energy and Commerce committees.

The document, obtained this week by The Washington Post, shows that officials from Exxon Mobil Corp., Conoco (before its merger with Phillips), Shell Oil Co. and BP America Inc. met in the White House complex with the Cheney aides who were developing a national energy policy, parts of which became law and parts of which are still being debated.

In a joint hearing last week of the Senate Energy and Commerce committees, the chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips said their firms did not participate in the 2001 task force. The president of Shell Oil said his company did not participate “to my knowledge,” and the chief of BP America Inc. said he did not know.

Chevron was not named in the White House document, but the Government Accountability Office has found that Chevron was one of several companies that “gave detailed energy policy recommendations” to the task force. In addition, Cheney had a separate meeting with John Browne, BP’s chief executive, according to a person familiar with the task force’s work; that meeting is not noted in the document.

No wonder Cheney worked so hard to block access to these documents. Come to think of it, it is no wonder Republican Senate Commerce Chairman Ted Stevens went so ballistic when the Democrats on the committee tried to have the oil execs swear and oath to tell the truth. So much for bringing honesty and integrity back to the office of the President eh?

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