Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Big Oil Lights Up My Life

AP's environment correspondent H. Josef Hebert wrote a piece today on the small number of environmentalists and renewable energy advocates consulted by Secretary of Energy Abraham while working on the Administration's national energy policy; that is, none. Sec. Abraham had eight private meetings with industry leaders, but none with John Passacantando or Carl Pope.

The are two issues here - the first being that despite his job title, Abraham had very little to do with the energy plan produced by Cheney's task force. Energy policy was one of the White House's biggest pre-9/11 agenda items. That's why the Vice President rather than the Secretary of Energy was in charge of something called the Energy Task Force. He simply wasn't in the driver's seat. The second issue is that they met with industry leaders - CEOs and senior executives of utility companies - because those are the people who are responsible for actually producing energy. Environmentalists, for the most part, have made themselves responsible for criticizing energy production. It would be like having a Beef Shortage Task Force and inviting PETA. They're not likely to have very many constructive suggestions.

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