One thing that I have learned from managing to stay alive these fifty-eight years, despite some serious attempts on my life, is that when a bunch of guys have a meeting behind locked doors in a government office, you can be pretty sure that they aren't in there swapping margarita recipes.
Recall the Energy Task Force that Cheney assembled immediately after the Bush junta took office? Well, we were't allowed to see the agenda - so much for transparency in an alleged democracy - or any other paperwork it might have generated, but we sure can see the results in the real world.
From Tom Paine.com comes this capsule summary:
The ever-helpful staff of Rep. Henry Waxman, D.-Calif., have prepared a review of what we've gained:
- Energy prices have risen rapidly. Over the last five years, crude oil prices have increased by 143%; gasoline prices have increased by 71%; natural gas prices have increased by 46%; and prices for other fuels have increased at a rate significantly higher than the inflation rate.
- American families are spending record amounts for energy. Five years ago, the average American family spent $3,300 on gasoline, home heating, and electricity. This year, the average American family will spend over $5,100 on gasoline, home heating, and electricity. This is an increase of nearly $2,000 per family. The indirect costs of higher energy prices in the form of higher prices for consumer goods and services are likely to cost families another $1,400 per year.
- The nation's dependence on foreign oil has increased. During the 2000 presidential campaign, Texas Governor George Bush criticized the Clinton Administration for allowing U.S. imports on foreign oil to reach 56% of U.S. oil consumption. Five years after President Bush announced his energy plan, U.S. imports of foreign oil have risen to 65% of U.S. consumption.
- While the last five years have seen sharp increases in energy prices and increased U.S. dependence on foreign oil, there is one group that has benefited considerably: the energy industry. Oil companies reported record profits of over $100 billion in 2005.
Read the full Democratic minority report here.