CREATING A SECRET TASK FORCE TO DEVELOP ENERGY AND MILITARY POLICIES WITH RESPECT TO IRAQ AND OTHER COUNTRIES
In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has both personally and acting through his agents and subordinates, together with the Vice President, created a secret task force to guide our nation's energy policy and military policy, and undermined Congress' ability to legislate by thwarting attempts to investigate the nature of that policy.
A Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report on the Cheney Energy Task Force, in August 2003, described the creation of this task force as follows:
"In a January 29, 2001, memorandum, the President established NEPDG [the National Energy Policy Development Group] — comprised of the Vice President, nine cabinet-level officials, and four other
senior administration officials — to gather information, deliberate, and make recommendations to the President by the end of fiscal year 2001. The President called on the Vice President to chair the group, direct its work and, as necessary, establish subordinate working groups to assist NEPDG."
The four "other senior administration officials were the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and the Deputy Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs.
The GAO report found that:
"In developing the National Energy Policy report, the NEPDG Principals, Support Group, and participating agency officials and staff met with, solicited input from, or received information and advice from nonfederal energy stakeholders, principally petroleum, coal, nuclear, natural gas, and electricity industry representatives and lobbyists. The extent to which submissions from any of these stakeholders were solicited, influenced policy deliberations, or were incorporated into the final report cannot be determined based on the limited information made available to GAO. NEPDG met and conducted its work in two distinct phases: the first phase culminated in a March 19, 2001, briefing to the President on challenges relating to energy supply and the resulting economic impact; the second phase ended with the May 16, 2001, presentation of the final report to the President. The Office of the Vice President's (OVP) unwillingness to provide the NEPDG records or other related information precluded GAO from fully achieving its objectives and substantially limited GAO's ability to comprehensively analyze the NEPDG process. associated with that process.
"None of the key federal entities involved in the NEPDG effort provided GAO with a complete accounting of the costs that they incurred during the development of the National Energy Policy report. The two federal entities responsible for funding the NEPDG effort—OVP and the Department of Energy (DOE)—did not provide the comprehensive cost information that GAO requested. OVP provided GAO with 77 pages of information, two-thirds of which contained no cost information while the remaining one-third contained some miscellaneous information of little to no usefulness. OVP stated that it would not provide any additional information. DOE, the Department of the Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided GAO with estimates of certain costs and salaries associated with the NEPDG effort, but these estimates, all calculated in different ways, were not comprehensive."
In 2003, the Commerce Department disclosed a partial collection of materials from the NEPDG, including documents, maps, and charts, dated March 2001, of Iraq's, Saudi Arabia's and the United Arab Emirates' oil fields, pipelines, refineries, tanker terminals, and development projects.
On November 16, 2005, the Washington Post reported on a White House document showing that oil company executives had met with the NEPDG, something that some of those same executives had just that week denied in Congressional testimony. The Bush Administration had not corrected the inaccurate testimony.
On July 18, 2007, the Washington Post reported the full list of names of those who had met with the NEPDG.
In 1998 Kenneth Derr, then chief executive of Chevron, told a San Francisco audience, "Iraq possesses huge reserves of oil and gas, reserves I'd love Chevron to have access to." According to the GAO report, Chevron provided detailed advice to the NEPDG.
In March, 2001, the NEPDG recommended that the United States Government support initiatives by Middle Eastern countries "to open up areas of their energy sectors to foreign investment." Following the invasion of Iraq, the United States has pressured the new Iraqi parliament to pass a hydrocarbon law that would do exactly that. The draft law, if passed, would take the majority of Iraq's oil out of the exclusive hands of the Iraqi Government and open it to international oil companies for a generation or more. The Bush administration hired Bearing Point, a U.S. company, to help write the law in 2004. It was submitted to the Iraqi Council of Representatives in May 2007.
In all of these actions and decisions, President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and Commander in Chief, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.
Government Accountability Office Report on Cheney Energy Task Force , August 2003.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich floor speech , May 2007.
Dana Milbank and Justin Blum, Document Says Oil Chiefs Met With Cheney Task Force , Washington Post, November 16, 2005.
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