Environmental organizations had just 48 hours to submit policy proposals for consideration by Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force, according to the latest batch of documents released by the Energy Department. Shortly after midday on Wednesday, March 21, 2001, Margot Anderson, a senior department official, sent an email message to a colleague instructing him to contact 11 national environmental groups and compile their energy policy proposals. “Need by Friday noon,” Anderson wrote. Energy Department officials say the groups had opportunities other than the two-day period to offer their opinions, but environmental leaders say the email is emblematic of a skewed and unfair process that prioritized input from the energy industry at the expense of other points of view.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.