Bush Makes Controversial Nomination of Cheney Aide to Energy Post

Menendez and Sanders called on Bush to refrain from nomination earlier this month

WASHINGTON, September 25 - President Bush today officially nominated a controversial aide to Vice President Dick Cheney to a top Department of Energy post. Cheney aide F. Chase Hutto III has a documented history of favoring oil companies and backing big corporations against measures to protect public health, but has now been appointed to the DOE's Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy and International Affairs position.

U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), both members of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, earlier this month called on Bush to refrain from making the Hutto nomination (http://menendez.senate.gov/newsroom/record.cfm?id=303110&). Today they reacted to the news.

"Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse," said Senator Menendez. "A Cheney aide who represents everything that is wrong with the direction of our energy and environmental policies is now helping lead the Department of Energy. This is highly concerning to those of us who want to end our addiction to oil, create jobs, lower energy prices, and reduce global warming pollution. It is disheartening, but I guess it is not surprising when you have two oil men in the White House."

Sanders said: "Even in its final days, the Bush administration continues to send nominees to the Hill who represent its failed, pro-corporate, anti-environmental policies. It is my hope that the Senate would take no action on Hutto's nomination. If it were to move, I would certainly put a hold on it."