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Sierra Club
JUNE 24, 2004
1:04 PM
CONTACT:  Sierra Club
David Willett 202-675-6698
Supreme Court Rejects Cheney's Right to Secrecy but Public Remains in the Dark about Task Force Meetings for Now

WASHINGTON - June 24 - The Supreme Court today rejected the Bush Administration's argument that it has a constitutional right to keep the workings of the Cheney Energy Task Force secret. The Court refused to rule on whether Vice President Cheney must produce documents in Sierra Club's suit and sent the case back to the Court of Appeals.

"The Supreme Court is essentially ducking the issue by sending it back to a lower court. This ruling means that for now the public will remain in the dark about the Bush Administration and energy industry executives' secret meetings about national energy policy," said David Bookbinder, Sierra Club's Washington Legal Director. "The Bush Administration's obsession with secrecy has already led to a polluting energy policy that will harm Americans' health safety and the places they treasure."

Instead of focusing on common sense solutions and technology, the Bush Administration's policy puts vital clean air and clean water protections are risk while threatening special places like America's coasts, the Rockies, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

"The Bush Administration can not use this court ruling to say that their offices are open to polluting corporations, but not the public," said Bookbinder. "The Court affirmed that the Bush Administration and Vice President Cheney are not above the law."

Aside from this particular case, the Cheney Task Force's secret agenda also lives on in the form of a polluting energy bill promoted by the Bush Administration. At a time when gas prices are at an all time high, it's more important than ever to create an energy policy that reduces our oil dependence and protects consumers and our health and safety.

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