News Release

Big Oil Greasing Politics?

WENONAH HAUTER
Director of Public Citizen’s Critical Mass Energy Project, Hauter said today: “High prices at the gas pump have translated into windfalls for oil companies, which saw first-quarter profits in 2000 rise nearly 500 percent over the same period in 1999. Oil companies are ripping off the public and picking consumers’ pocketbooks clean… After the Gulf War, Dick Cheney turned around and joined the major energy service provider Halliburton Co., the company that got the contract to clean up the mess in Kuwait after the war. No doubt the oil industry, which has already given George W. Bush $1.5 million, has given its seal of approval to Cheney.”
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RANIA MASRI
Coordinator for the Iraq Action Coalition, Masri said today: “During the buildup to the Gulf War, Cheney convinced the Saudis to allow in half a million U.S. troops by showing them satellite pictures that allegedly showed Iraqi troops massing at the Saudi border. Florida’s St. Petersburg Times later reported that Soviet commercial satellite photos showed there was no such Iraqi buildup. This indicates that Cheney lied in order to have Saudi Arabia as a base from which to attack Iraq…. Cheney also stated that every Iraqi target was ‘perfectly legitimate,’ adding, ‘If I had to do it over again, I would do exactly the same thing.’ So, he would bomb the Ameriyah shelter in Baghdad again, the waste-water treatment facilities, electrical power stations, and other necessities in civil infrastructure?”
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REAR ADMIRAL EUGENE CARROLL, USN (ret.)
Director of the Center for Defense Information, Carroll said today: “As Secretary of Defense, Cheney actually brought a certain amount of rigor and oversight to the military; he wasn’t just going to give them whatever they wanted and then some, as previous Secretaries of Defense had done. But Cheney’s ties to the oil industry make me concerned that he’ll put the well-being of that industry ahead of the long-term security interests of this country. We ought to be investing billions being dumped into the military systems into scientific research for alternative and renewable energy.”
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PRATAP CHATTERJEE
An investigative journalist who covers the oil industry, Chatterjee said today: “George W. Bush has made millions running shady oil businesses into the ground in Texas and has allowed big business to keep Texas the most polluted state in the country… As Secretary of Defense under President Bush, Dick Cheney privatized the U.S. military’s logistical support facilities to companies like Brown & Root, allowing them to profit handsomely off hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts for support operations from Kuwait to Somalia. Today as he walks away from his job as chief executive of Halliburton, the parent company of Brown & Root, he has personally pocketed $5.1 million… He also walks away from creating the world’s largest oil services company that has built polluting facilities from Nigeria to Siberia… Ken Lay, the chief executive of Enron Corporation, is the biggest funder of George W. Bush over his political career… Al Gore is a major shareholder in the Occidental oil corporation, which is stealing land from indigenous communities in Colombia and desecrating Native American burial sites in California.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167