| Sierra Club asks judge to order Energy Task Force to hand
over key documents
In early October the Sierra Club formally asked a federal judge to order the government
to release documents relating to the Bush administrations energy policy.
The order became necessary when it became clear that the Bush administration would
not comply with outstanding requests to produce the information.
The Sierra Club and Judicial Watch have sued to gain access to documents which
would shed light on who Vice President Cheneys energy task force collaborated
with in drawing up the administrations polluting, dangerous energy plan.
Despite many calls by Judge Emmet Sullivan for the material to be released, Justice
Department lawyers have consistently refused to comply. A court order would compel
the government to end its foot-dragging.
When the Bush administration drew up its energy plan last year, it gave short
shrift to environmentalists, but held a series of closed door meetings with polluting
industries. The plan that the task force came up with would provide billions of
dollars in giveaways to these very corporate polluters, open the pristine Arctic
Refuge to destructive oil drilling, and do next-to-nothing to reduce oil consumption
or encourage the use of renewable energy.
Sierra Club is asking for a full accounting of what happened when the Cheney task
force rolled out the red carpet for industry, including: who was in the room;
what proposals did the energy industry executives and lobbyists make; what documents
did the energy industry submit; and what task force documents did they review.
It is disappointing that we have to use the courts to gain access to
crucial information on how the government is conducting the nations business,
said David Bookbinder, senior attorney with the Sierra Club.