Kucinich wants inquiry into Hunt, Iraq oil

Sept. 19, 2007 at 5:05 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Rep. Dennis Kucinich called for an investigation into an oil deal a Texas firm connected to the Bush administration signed with Iraq’s Kurdistan government.

The Ohio Democrat said in a speech Wednesday on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives the oil deal with Dallas-based Hunt Oil “raises questions” because of the company’s founder’s ties to President Bush.

He also said a deal between a U.S. firm and an Iraqi regional government undermines the U.S. policy to stand up the federal government.

“The deal also appears to undercut the goal of oil revenue sharing but is predictably consistent with the administration's attempt to privatize Iraqi oil assets,” Kucinich said. He and a growing chorus of the anti-war movement say U.S. economic policy in Iraq is geared at breaking up the longtime nationalized oil sector.

Iraqi politics over oil policy are at a standstill over just this issue, whether the federal government or regions/provinces can sign oil deals and to what extent foreign/private firms should be allowed access.

Kucinich, one of the most vocal congressional critics of the Iraq war, especially as it concerns fears Iraq’s vast oil reserves played some role in the war’s motive, has called for a congressional investigation into any role the Bush administration played in the Hunt Oil deal.

He also wants to investigate how it will affect Iraq’s proposal to redistribute oil revenue and what the administration is doing to promote oil privatization.

In a statement released Tuesday, Kucinich outlined Chief Executive Officer Ray Hunt’s Bush connections:

Hunt was appointed by Bush twice to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board -- "which is said to have access to intelligence that experts acknowledge is advantageous to the international energy interest of the Hunt Oil Company,” the statement said -- as well as other Bush and Republican Party fundraising positions.

It comes as former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan wrote in his new book, “The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World,” released Monday, “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: The Iraq War is largely about oil.”

“He is wrong. Oil was not and is not a motivation for our actions in Iraq,” the U.S. State Department’s coordinator for Iraq, David Satterfield, said Monday when asked about the Greenspan line.

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Ben Lando, UPI Energy Editor

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