Score Two-Mining Industry
In the 1999 legislative session in Texas, with Texas leading the nation in the emission of carbon monoxide, George Bush stated in a press conference, "I think global warming is a problem." The Petroleum Institute immediately went into shock over this outrageous stand, and Dan Quayle jumped in to to claim that Bush was "surrending". So Bush retreated, saying later that while his advisors agree there is some warming, they disagree about its cause and impact.
Bush's most recent about-face, according to the White House, comes after an Energy Department study that contends restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions (a gas scientists believe is linked to global warming) could possibly lead to higher energy costs for consumers. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) called the reversal "a breathtaking betrayal" of Bush's promise to fight global warming. "The administration's reported attempt to blame energy prices for inaction is an embarrassment," he said. "If the administration fails to act, it won't be because of energy prices. It will be because special interests are dictating the president's environmental policies."
The Cabinet meeting at which Bush was persuaded to change his mind, is uniquely organized of three Texas oilmen, and other corporate stooges. Spencer Abraham, energy secretary and devoted servant of the auto industry, was another. Commerce Secretary Don Evans, who at least was a `successful' Texas oilman, no doubt offered disinterested advice. And Dick Cheney, naturally, was said to be a big player in the decision.
This decision was a major victory for the coal mining industry and its allies in Congress, who for years have fought against proposals to regulate emissions. During the 1999-2000 election cycle, the coal mining industry contributed more than $3.8 million in soft money, PAC and individual contributions to federal parties and candidates, with the dollars going almost entirely to Republicans. The industry was one Bush's biggest contritubtors, over $114,000 during the election. James "Buck" Harless, the head of International Industries, a West Virginia mining company, also was named as a Bush Pioneer -- a group of individuals credited with raising more than $100,000 for the Bush campaign. In addition to contributions to Bush's regular campaign account, Harless also wrote a $100,000 check to the Bush-Cheney Inaugural Fund last January matching other contributions from the mining industry.