~e; .US Energy Task Force and Iraqi Oil

From human being <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Fri, 18 Jul 2003 20:23:30 -0500

// to balance the budget of ideas, previously there were a series
// of oil commentaries about the issue of oil, and the Iraq war, in
// an effort to get a sense of its strategic and political role, if any.
// given little actual information about intentions for the .US war,
// it was speculative writing, and probably hopeless given that
// nothing came of Enron nor the Energy Task Force in relation
// to oil and energy issues, and public policy, which in itself is
// not a partisan thing to consider, if it impacts everyone on the
// planet, or so it is proposed. Thus, in a reverse-consideration
// given more information, there is new reason to question the
// role of energy and oil if indeed the Energy Task Force was
// focusing on Iraq's oil in particular, early in 2001. There is also
// reason to question if the model of Enron to trade in energy, in
// the way that crashed California by its powering down, may
// have been the policy that is now stated to be lacking for how
// to deal with energy and related issues, home and abroad.
// To make it succinct, that Enron was and is .US Energy Policy.
// A lot is banking on finding out the basic facts because if the
// infrastructure which supports all the daily elements of day-to-
// day electromagnetic civilization (computers, wi-fi, broadband,
// home electronics, lights, heat, power, everything else, etc...)
// then its possible failure or even non-existence could be fatal
// for the continual functioning of the core support and planning
// systems for today's power, media, and technological systems.
// Therefore, given that there is no clear indication that there is
// a coherent, public understanding of .US energy policy, and
// related effects (war, economics), questions will be pursued...

Cheney task force had eyes on Iraq oil
- - - - - - - - - - - -
  By H. Josef Hebert


July 18, 2003  |  WASHINGTON (AP) --       Vice President Dick Cheney's 
energy task force appeared to have some interest in early 2001 in 
Iraq's oil industry, including which foreign companies were pursuing 
business there, according to documents released Friday by a private 
watchdog group.

Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, obtained a batch of task 
force-related Commerce Department papers that included a detailed map 
of Iraq's oil fields, terminals and pipelines as well as a list 
entitled "Foreign Suitors of Iraqi Oilfield Contracts."

The papers also included a detailed map of oil fields and pipelines in 
Saudi Arabia and in the United Arab Emirates and a list of oil and gas 
development projects in those two countries.

The papers were dated early March 2001, about two months before the 
Cheney energy task force completed and announced its report on the 
administration's energy needs and future energy agenda.

Judicial Watch obtained the papers as part of a lawsuit by it and the 
Sierra Club to open to the public information used by the task force in 
developing President Bush's energy plan.

Tom Fitton, the group's president, said he had no way to guess what 
interest the task force had in the information, but "it shows why it is 
important that we learn what was going on in the task force."

"Opponents of the war are going to point to the documents as evidence 
that oil was on the minds of the Bush administration in the run-up to 
the war in Iraq," said Fitton. "Supporters will say they were only 
evaluating oil reserves in the Mideast, and the likelihood of future 
oil production."

The task force report was released in May 2001. In it, a chapter titled 
"Strengthening Global Alliances" calls the Middle East "central to 
world oil security" and urges support for initiatives by the region's 
oil producers to open their energy sectors to foreign investment. The 
chapter does not mention Iraq, which has the world's second largest oil 
reserves after Saudi Arabia.

Trevor Francis, a Commerce Department spokesman, said the people at the 
department who worked with the Cheney task force were not available. He 
said he was not familiar with the papers and referred questions to 
Cheney's office.

A spokeswoman for the vice president did not immediately return a phone 
call seeking comment Friday.

A two-page document obtained with the map and released by Judicial 
Watch lists, as of March 2001, companies in 30 countries that had an 
interest in contracts to help then-President Saddam Hussein develop 
Iraq's oil wealth.

The involvement of Russia and France has been documented. Also on the 
list were companies from Canada, Australia, China, Germany, Indonesia, 
Ireland, India and Mexico. Even Vietnam had interest in a service 
contract and, according to the paper, was close to signing an agreement 
in October 1999.

So far nearly 40,000 pages of internal documents from various 
departments and agencies have been made public related to the Cheney 
task force's work under the Judicial Watch-Sierra Club lawsuit. The 
task force itself has refused to turn over any of its own papers.

WASHINGTON (AP)  copyright 2003 AP.
educational fair-use electronetwork.org 2003.
(Enron, Energy Task Force, Iraq War, Public Policy)

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