JULY 17, 2003
Commerce & State Department Reports to Task Force Detail Oilfield & Gas Projects, Contracts & Exploration
Saudi Arabian & UAE Oil Facilities Profiled As Well
(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, said today that documents turned over by the Commerce Department, under court order as a result of Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit concerning the activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, contain a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as 2 charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.” The documents, which are dated March 2001, are available on the Internet at: www.JudicialWatch.org.
The Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirates (UAE) documents likewise feature a map of each country’s oilfields, pipelines, refineries and tanker terminals. There are supporting charts with details of the major oil and gas development projects in each country that provide information on the projects, costs, capacity, oil company and status or completion date.
Judicial Watch has been seeking these documents under FOIA since April 19, 2001. Judicial Watch was forced to file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch Inc. v. Department of Energy, et al., Civil Action No. 01-0981) when the government failed to comply with the provisions of the FOIA law. U.S. District Court Judge Paul J. Friedman ordered the government to produce the documents on March 5, 2002.
The documents were produced in response to Judicial Watch’s on-going efforts to ensure transparency and accountability in government on behalf of the American people. Judicial Watch aggressively pursues those goals by making FOIA requests and seeking access to public information concerning government operations. When the government fails to abide by these “sunshine laws” Judicial Watch files lawsuits in order to obtain the requested information and to hold responsible government officials accountable.
“These documents show the importance of the Energy Task Force and why its operations should be open to the public,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.