Tuesday, May 13, 2003

business as usual [NYT]
The A.P., using the Freedom of Information Act to obtain [J. Steven Griles's (deputy secretary of the interior)] appointment calendars, reported last month that while Mr. Griles's nomination was pending before the Senate in 2001, Chevron was paying his firm $80,000 to lobby the Interior Department. Two months after his confirmation, Mr. Griles began meeting with other department officials to discuss Chevron's proposed projects. The A.P. said those meetings ended with the Bush administration's paying Chevron $46 million to abandon plans for oil wells off the Florida coast, a decision that enhanced the re-election prospects of President Bush's brother Jeb as governor of Florida....On behalf of Mr. Griles, Eric Ruff, a spokesman for the Interior Department, said Mr. Lieberman's request for an investigation was politically motivated.

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