Saturday, November 04, 2006

Who better?

As Dubya, lameduck though he may be, continues on the pathway to global crisis. When our grand-children are starving in a garbage-heap world, will there finally be a reckoning for men like this?

Bush Names Exxon Chief to Chart America's Energy Future

Even for an administration dedicated to putting industry lobbyists in charge of the very agencies they have devoted their careers to undermining (coal and oil lobbyist J. Stephen Griles as Deputy Secretary of the Interior is one of dozens of examples), President Bush has recently outdone himself. He has named Lee Raymond, the retired chief of ExxonMobil, to head a key study to help America chart a cleaner course for our energy needs.

Raymond currently chairs the National Petroleum Council (NPC), one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington.
Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman says the study
will address the supply and demand of oil as well as "…assess the potential contribution of conservation, efficiency, alternative energy sources, and technology advances" and determine "the potential long term impact of alternative energies that are plentiful, affordable, reliable and transportable." Energy Department Under Secretary David Garman, added that the NPC is "well qualified to provide a balanced and informed perspective on strategies and action affecting the energy future for both the U.S. and for every country on earth."

Environmentalists are outraged about the appointment of Lee Raymond. During his long tenure at ExxonMobil, the company spent $19 million on front groups designed to discredit the science on global warming. It also resisted funding clean energy alternatives and lobbied aggressively to drill in the Arctic Refuge.
In a Wall Street Journal article on June 14, 2005, Mr. Raymond said, "it's yet to be shown how much of this [global warming] is really related to the activities of man."

ExxonMobil is considered a rogue company even among its peers. It vocally opposes U.S. energy independence and presses for deeper reliance on oil producing nations such as Saudi Arabia, where the company has sunk heavy investments. Critics argue that Mr. Raymond's legacy is to deny that oil dependence is a problem. ExxonMobil is the only major oil giant calling renewable energy an "uneconomical" investment.

Known for abruptly shutting off the microphone at shareholders meetings when opposition is voiced, Mr. Raymond has the reputation of an impatient, authoritarian leader who shows no qualms about publicly belittling those who disagree with him.
The Exxpose Exxon coalition, a collaborative effort of many of the nation's largest environmental and public advocacy organizations representing millions of Americans, called on Secretary Bodman "to remove the Global Oil and Gas Study from the purview of Raymond and the NPC."

"This issue is too vital to be handed over to a company and an industry that have demonstrated again and again that they will maximize profits at the expense of our national security, the environment, and U.S. consumers," they argued. The coalition recommended the study be given to an independent body such as the National Academy of Sciences. "Putting Lee Raymond in charge of solving U.S. energy problems is like putting Jack Abramoff in charge of solving corruption," said Shawnee Hoover, campaign director for the Exxpose Exxon Coalition.

Take Action - Tell Secretary Bodman Not to Let Exxon Chart America's Energy Future.

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