June 18, 2010


Dick Cheney's Last Laugh
by Kate Sheppard/Mother Jones

The Deepwater Horizon disaster raises new questions about the Bush administration's secret energy task force.

headshot of Dick Cheney[June 10, 2010] Dick Cheney hasn't made much time for television appearances lately. But in the weeks since the Deepwater Horizon unleashed a torrent of oil on the Gulf of Mexico, his name has been creeping back into the press. "The truth is that right now we have precisely the regulatory system that the Bush-Cheney administration wanted: full of loopholes, full of cronies and lobbyists filling the very agencies that are supposed to be overseeing the industry," liberal commentator Arianna Huffington said on ABC's This Week last Sunday. Cheney's daughter, Liz, was on hand to defend her father. "Arianna, I don't know what planet you live on," she shot back. "What you are saying has no relationship to the truth, no relationship to the facts."

The reality is a lot more complicated than that. Many of the policy and regulatory failures that laid the groundwork for the BP catastrophe can be traced back to the Bush-Cheney era. But so far, this question has received relatively little attention — mostly because the task force that developed the former administration's energy policy operated in extreme secrecy. Did the task force's decisions play a role in the BP spill? And could the Gulf disaster finally provoke new scrutiny of the task force's clandestine workings?

For the complete story, go to http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/06/dick-cheney-bp-spill.