Friday, July 01, 2005

Federal Enron Rewarding Commission

Jason Leopold, an investigative blogger/journalist/author, has the goods on President Bush's new appointment to chair the Federeal Energy Regulatory Commission, Joseph Kelliher. Kelliher currently serves on the FERC Commission, formerly worked as a policy adviser with the Department of Energy, and he's been a great friend to the bigwigs for the industry that he'll now be regulating.

Jason's article, " Energy Adviser Who Solicited Enron to Help Write Nat’l Energy Policy to Be Named Chair of FERC," contains links to emails and letters that Kelliher exchanged with lobbyist Dana Contratto and Enron Corp. lobbyist Stephen Craig Sayle, which were used to develop the Administration's energy policies worked out behind closed doors with Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force.

"One such document, a March 10, 2001 email to energy lobbyist Dana Contratto, was damning in that Kelliher asked Contratto if he was “King” or “Il Duce” “what would you include in a national energy policy, especially with respect to natural gas issues?"

Contratto responded with a three-page list of ideas, many of which were included in the final version of the energy policy."

On another occasion, Kelliher sought out Stephen Craig Sayle, an Enron Corp. lobbyist, to make similar recommendations. Sayle, former counsel for the House Commerce Committee, sent Kelliher Enron’s "dream list," including a recommendation that the administration commit to market-based emissions trading, which was also used in administration’s National Energy Policy."

Kelliher seems to carry the same qualifications for his job as many other Bush appointees such as the anti-U.N. John Bolton and the anti-pretty-much-everything John Ashcroft.

Along with this great investigative article, Jason Leopold has a book that's going to be published called News Junkie, which carries a fawning endorsement by the one-and-only Greg Palast. I'd personally kill for the kind of praise Leopold gets from Palast:

"I love this book. I love Jason Leopold. When other US reporters were licking Ken Lay's loafers, Leopold went for Enron's thieving throat. But Leopold is a fool, and a fascinating readable one at that: a journalist who insists on real investigative reporting -- inside documents, inside sources, hard knife-in-the-gut evidence -- detective-style reporting that is just about illegal in the USA.'ll get a hard-core story of a true investigative journalist hunted down and professionally exterminated, a hero cut down by the lazy fat pricks we call 'mainstream reporters.' The book is worth the price just for exposing the craven toadies of the New York Times who open their pages to White House hatchet jobs against offending reporters. Bravo and my personal Pulitzer to Jason Leopold. Every journalist in America should read this, then quit or riot."

Well, that's enough for me. I can't wait to read this book, and I'm humbled by the fact that Jason Leopold told me in an email that he's an avid reader of this here blog.

Jason's certainly a journalist to watch out for, plus he has good taste (hell, if Greg Palast isn't going to rave about me, then I'll do it myself).


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