Year of the Snake Oil Salesman
President Bush said yesterday that he was “deeply concerned” that the energy crisis in California was “spreading beyond the California borders.” The thing to do about it, he said, was to make it far easier for companies to drill for oil and gas and to build new power plants. “And a good place to look is going to be ANWR,” Bush said, referring to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. He said he would push for legislation to open the refuge to drilling and consider granting waivers to states to allow older coal-powered power plants to operate even if they violated clean air standards. (Note: Gov. Gray Davis (D) of crisis-stricken California has said that his state can resolve its problem without significant waivers, but other states have long sought such exemptions.) Bush named Vice President Dick Cheney, the former CEO of oil services company Halliburton, to head a task force that would study ways to boost oil drilling and energy production.