Monday, March 31, 2008

Ambassador for Hydrocarbons

White House announcement (done, like the "resignation" of Alphonso Jackson, en route to Ukraine) --

President George W. Bush today announced that Special Envoy to the European Union, C. Boyden Gray will also serve as Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy. Mr. Gray will engage directly with senior European, Central Asian, Russian and other political and business leaders to support the continued development and diversification of the energy sector.

That position as "Special Envoy" to the EU is in fact an extended recess appointment for Gray i.e. one done without Senate approval. It's not clear what the backstory is here i.e. whether there was nothing for Gray to do in Brussels given that he's not actually the US Ambassador to the EU or if there's some new wheeze involving oil or gas deals at work. But the US Senate needs to find some way to rein in this parallel diplomatic system, especially given how closely it seems to conform to the obsessions of George Bush and Dick Cheney with energy supplies. It's all too clear where that obsession has already led.

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