Explaining that he was tired of hearing Al Gore represent himself as a crusader against Big Oil “over and over and over again,” GOP vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney said yesterday that Gore should either recuse himself from Clinton administration energy policies or divest the Gore family trust of its holdings in the Occidental Petroleum Corp. In particular, Cheney said Gore had a conflict of interest in June when he supported an extension of a tax exemption that would benefit Occidental. Enviros have also protested the veep’s family ties to Occidental because the corporation plans to drill for oil on rainforest land in Colombia claimed by the indigenous U’wa tribe. A Gore spokeswoman responded yesterday that the family trust, which contains about $500,000 in Occidental stock, currently benefits the vice president’s mother, not the vice president, and that Gore has no control over investments in the trust. Cheney himself has millions of dollars in stock options from Halliburton, an oil services company of which he was the CEO until tapped to run for vice president. He has said he will divest himself of Halliburton stock if elected.

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