requirements even apply to NEPDG
in the first place....
Office, "Statement on the NEPDG," 2001, "Letter to Vice
Comptroller General Concerning NEPDG Litigation," January 30, 2002,
(Waxman also pointed out an apparent inconsistency in the Administration's policy, since on at least seven occasions since taking office Bush has allowed e-mail communications to and from the Clinton/Gore White House to be released to Congressional committees.) As the standoff continued throughout January the GAO announced that it was going to file a lawsuit against the NEPDG
to force compliance with its request.
Politically, the Bush administration caught a break: relief from having to release the NEPDG files prior to the 2004 presidential election.
(37.) Specifically, the task force was charged with developing "a national energy policy designed to help the private sector, and as necessary and appropriate Federal, State, and local governments, promote dependable, affordable, and environmentally sound production and distribution of energy." "Memorandum Establishing National Energy Policy Development Group," January 29, 2001, quoted in Judicial Watch z: NEPDG, 219 F.
Judicial Watch brought suit in July 2001 against the NEPDG and various individuals in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
The majority did not address the vice president's assertion, contained in his petition and brief, that the application of FACA to the NEPDG, based on the allegation that private individuals were de facto members, is problematic and perhaps even unconstitutional.
On April 19, 2001, Representatives Henry Waxman and John Dingell wrote to Andrew Lundquist, executive director of the NEPDG, requesting information pertaining to the operations of the task force (Waxman 200la).
Shortly thereafter, GAO informed the vice president's counsel that it was eliminating its request for minutes or notes of meetings of the NEPDG, as well as any information regarding the information presented at such meetings.
In its report, GAO formally stated that it was withdrawing its request for copies of minutes, notes, and information presented at the meetings "as a matter of comity" and was seeking documents regarding (1) the names of those present at NEPDG meetings; (2) the names of the NEPDG's professional support staff; (3) the names of those with whom NEPDG members and support staff met to gather information for the National Energy Policy, including the date, subject, and location of such meetings, and; (4) what direct and indirect costs were incurred in developing the National Energy Policy.
On January 30, 2002, Walker formally announced that GAO would file suit to enforce its asserted statutory right of access to the requested NEPDG records (Allen 2002b, A4).