We’re not sure whose job it is to go through all the thousands of pages of documents related to Vice President Dick Cheney’s formerly secretive energy task force, but they sure are having a grand old time. This week, the needle in the haystack was a memo sent to Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham by Jane Hughes Turnbull, an executive at a California renewable energy company. In the memo, Turnbull chalked up her resignation from the National Coal Council to President Bush’s decision to reverse a campaign pledge to cut carbon dioxide emissions. She said his reversal stemmed from vigorous lobbying by the coal industry and was a “monumental mistake” and “profoundly short-sighted.” Meanwhile, a letter from former Republican vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp praised Bush’s move and credited the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a think-tank backed in part by the coal industry, for providing Bush with the “intellectual support and political cover to ‘do the right thing'” on CO2 emissions. The Natural Resources Defense Council, which sued to obtain the Cheney documents, said the two memos are further evidence that industry officials played key roles in shaping U.S. energy policy.
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