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Waxman Asks Cheney to Come Clean

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Additional Resources
Links to recent stories about Enron and some of the links referenced in the Waxman letter to Cheney.
Waxman's letter to Cheney (580K PDF format).

December 7, 2001

Waxman Asks Cheney to Come Clean: Says Cheney should divulge identities of members of the White House's secret energy task force and specifics about Enron.

In April 2001 Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and John Dingell, D-Mich asked the GAO to provide information on the White House energy panel. The White House refused to hand over the information to the GAO. In June the GAO sent Vice President Cheney a letter ordering him to turn over the information. Cheney refused. (See: GAO Investigates Cheney - Congress Pressures Cheney for Names).

Since 9/11 nothing much has happened on this. Not until now. On 12/04/01 Rep. Henry Waxman, House Committee on Government Reform, sent a letter to Cheney that says, in part:

"... release information about secret contacts your energy task force had with Enron Corporation, which filed for bancruptcy on December 2. Press reports indicate that Enron -- a major Republican contributor -- had detailed communications with the task force and other senior Administration officials. In light of Enron's financial collapse, it is important to know whether Enron communicated pertinent facts about its financial situation to the task force. It is also important to know to what extent the task force relied on information from Enron that may have been unreliable or self-serving.

I have previously written to express my concern about your task force's meetings with top energy company executives, many of whom contributed heavily to the Republican party. While you have refused to disclose information about these secret meetings, I hope that Enron's recent and sudden collapse amidst allegations of serious financial improprieties will cause you to reconsider your position."

(The full text of Rep. Waxman's 12/04 letter to V.P. Cheney may be downloaded here (580K PDF format)).

If Rep. Waxman and the GAO are successful, it will not be surprising to learn that Enron and other energy related companies had a large part to play in developing the current energy strategy which includes drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). (see: our archive of the USFSW ANWR website for more on the refuge).

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It is no secret that the Bush administration is an oil administration. President George W. Bush's family has been running oil companies since 1950. Vice President Dick Cheney spent the late '90s as CEO of Halliburton, the world's largest oil services company. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice sat on the board of Chevron. Chevron named an oil tanker after her. Commerce Secretary Donald Evans was the CEO of Tom Brown Inc. -- a natural gas company with fields in Texas, Colorado and Wyoming -- for more than a decade.

Copyright 2001, Michael R. Meuser

Stories about Enron and some referenced in Waxman letter to Cheney
Enron: Cooking The Books And Buying Protection.
Biography of Robert B. Zoellick, 13th U.S. Trade Representative.
Contributors to Bush's 1998 Texas governorship re-election.
Contributors to Bush's 2000 presidential election.
Cheney Frontline interview May 17, 2001.
Collapse of Enron May Reshape the Battlefield of Deregulation.
Enron Paid Out 'Retention' Bonuses Before Bankruptcy Filing.
Halliburton Battered as Asbestos Verdict Stirs Deep Anxieties: Call it the Enron aftershock.
Bush's Energy Plan Bares Industry Clout: Cheney-led task force consulted extensively with corporate executives. Its findings boosted their interests. Environmental groups had little voice.
Biggest US Power Firm Vetted Bush Energy Regulators: Applicants for jobs on the commission regulating the US energy market have been vetted by the Enron Corporation, the country's biggest electricity power company and a significant contributor to George Bush's election campaign, according to a report published yesterday.
Cash, Relationships Help Explain Bush Administrationís Hands-Off Policy in California Electricity Crisis: Top Power Suppliers Gave Millions to Republicans Two Key Power Companies Headed by Men With Close Ties to Bush.
Paying Back Big Energy Evil-Doers: Giving Big Bucks To Bush's Buddies at Enron, But Shunning the Middle-Class Turned Jobless.
The Fall of a Giant: Enron's Campaign Contributions and Lobbying
The Bush Payback: It's Never Been Easier to "Follow the Money"
The President Who Bought Power and Sold the World: George Bush's decision to ignore global warming and pull the plug on Kyoto is payback for the energy industries which backed him. Cheney profits from gulf war.
Cheney's Black Gold: Oil Interests May Drive US Foreign Policy.
You Can Bank on the Ethics of the Bush Administration.
Recognize the Link Between Oil, War.
America in the Grip of Bush's 'Iron Triangle': The network of big business interests that is now waiting to reap its rewards from an administration that may stand for little but revenge and greed.
CalPERS, Carlyle profit from Afghan war: Carlyle counts among its chieftains former Defense Secretary (and deputy CIA Director) Frank Carlucci, former Secretary of State James Baker and, most notably, former President George Bush.
Energy Execs Gain Millions in Stock Sales: Some say they have profited from the state's crisis. Others say the practice is standard.
The United States of Oil: No administration has ever been more in bed with the energy industry -- but does that mean Big Oil is calling Bush's shots?

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