Everyone’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Task Force
The Bush administration has 30 days to turn over more documents related to Vice President Dick Cheney’s National Energy Policy Development Group, a federal judge ordered late last week. A number of other federal agencies involved in the secretive energy task force have already turned over thousands of pages of related documents, but the Bush administration balked, claiming that executive privilege and the Administrative Procedures Act protected such information from public review. Last week’s ruling should put an end to the foot-dragging; it also requires the government to hand in written responses to questions from two interest groups, the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch, which have sued to find out the names and positions of everyone involved in the task force. The interest groups claim that the White House gave energy industry executives an improper degree of control in shaping the nation’s energy policies. David Bookbinder, senior attorney for the Sierra Club, marveled at the “administration’s arrogance” and said the ruling was a clear victory for environmentalists.