Connecting the oil dots…er…globs.

I’ve written before about Bush and Cheney’s influence on our energy policy. The Bush family has deep ties to the Saudis and Kuwaitis. After WWII, the Bush family jumped at the opportunity to rebuild the Balkans oil fields. And Bush worked in the oil industry before running for public office.

In addition, Cheney was the CEO of Halliburton prior to gaining the office of Vice-President. Cheney received a $34 million bonus from Halliburton when he left for Washington. And Cheney held secret meetings on energy policy in the very first month of the Bush administration.

All of that raises some very troubling questions. For example, what role did Cheney’s relationship to Halliburton play in the company receiving billions of no-bid government contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan? What role did Bush’s desire to build a pipeline across Afghanistan play in the events of 9/11 and the ensuing war in Afghanistan? What role did oil play in the unprecedented pre-emptive invasion of Iraq?

While those issues are in question, there are many Bush/Cheney impacts on U.S. energy policy that are not. It was the deregulation of commodities that led to speculation, skyrocketing oil prices and record oil company profits during the Bush/Cheney administration. It was the Bush/Cheney administration that increased subsidies to oil companies, in spite of their obscene profits, and cut subsidies for alternative energy sources.

It was the Bush/Cheney appointees at the Minerals Management Service who were literally in bed with oil company executives. The Bush/Cheney administration gave oil companies the right to drill in national parks and other wildernesses. Despite evidence to the contrary, Bush/Cheney decided it was safe to expand off-shore drilling and to drill in ANWR (the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge). And it was the Bush/Cheney administration that allowed BP and other oil companies to drill a mile under the Gulf’s surface without a serious back-up safety plan. (Indeed, the BP safety plan for the Gulf addressed the impact on walruses!)

It’s time for an in-depth Congressional investigation of the oil industry and all those who have helped oil companies keep a grip on our energy policy while, at the same time, making them the most profitable corporations in the history of the planet.

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