Energy execs vacation with Bush admin officials — innocently, of course

High-level Bush administration environmental officials and members of Congress are canoodling with energy execs at a posh resort in Arizona this week, discussing policy over golf, wine, and canapes. They are, of course, shocked — shocked! — at the implication that anything untoward, like, say, purchasing of influence, might be going on. After all, says an Interior Department spokesflack, “it is not uncommon for these business sectors to be linked to the issues that the Department of the Interior handles on a regular basis.” Um, exactly. According to the head of the Western Business Roundtable, a consortium comprised largely of energy companies, the meetings are simply to discuss policy. “We push for laws that promote a commonsense balance between economic growth and environmental conservation,” he said. “Any group that opposes that commonsense approach is, by definition, an extremist group, from the West’s perspective.” Sounds like someone’s been talking to Frank Luntz!