The revolving door


Geraldine Sealey
April 26, 2004 8:49PM (UTC)

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Tuesday in the Cheney energy task force matter. The vice president is trying to keep a lid on which energy industry executives met behind closed doors with top government officials, including Cheney, to craft the nation's energy policy. Linda Greenhouse explained the case's legal complexity on Sunday. There's more on the case, and how it fits into the government's penchant for secrecy, on the blog TalkLeft.

And here's more from the Boston Globe. The task force's executive director became a lobbyist just months after leaving the White House, helping companies benefit from the policy he helped devise.

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From the Globe: Andrew Lundquist, a native Alaskan who worked on Capitol Hill for both his state's senators, shepherded the development of the administration's energy policy as executive director of the National Energy Policy Development Group, a Cabinet-level task force chosen by President Bush and headed by Cheney. When the task force completed its work, Lundquist stayed on at the White House as Cheney's energy policy director, leading the vice president's effort to turn the task force's work into law. Then, a day after leaving government service, he opened a consulting business. Nine months later, Lundquist was a registered lobbyist for companies that stood to benefit from the energy policy he helped craft, according to 2003 lobby disclosure records reviewed by the Globe.

Lundquist's corporate clients -- who paid him more than $300,000 in 2003 -- included: Japan's Toshiba Corp., which is seeking to build a small, new-generation nuclear reactor in Alaska and would benefit from the administration's proposed extension of laws reducing corporate liability for injuries or death caused by nuclear accidents. British Petroleum, which stands to benefit from a $16.3 billion Alaskan natural gas pipeline that was promised government loan guarantees worth $2 billion in the pending energy legislation. Kennecott Energy Co., a coal-mining concern in Wyoming that would benefit from a plan to loosen proposed mercury pollution rules for coal-fired power plants. Duke Energy Corp., which helped secure a provision inserted in the energy legislation repealing a Depression-era law banning public utilities from making speculative investments, a law intended to protect rate payers from costly bankruptcies.


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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