As I punch this in, Mike Malloy of Air America refers to Spencer Abraham as a total jackass. Malloy then says to his audience, "Did you know we even had an Energy Secretary?". For the amount of good he did in raising energy depletion awareness, it seemingly didn't much matter whether he was there or not. In any case, Abraham's resignation early in the second term means that he can latch on to some lucrative positions.
The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News
Number 147: November 15, 2004
Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham Resigns
The Department of Energy is of great importance to the physics
community as it supports 40% of all basic research in the physical
sciences. DOE provides funding for 69% of physics research, 90% of
funding for high energy and nuclear physics, and 100% of the funding for plasma science. The department manages 17 national laboratories and funds research at 250 universities throughout the United States.
Secretary Abraham's letter follows:
November 14, 2004
The White House
Dear President Bush,
I write to once again congratulate you on your re-election. The voters have strongly endorsed your record and vision for this country and have delivered a highly deserved vote of confidence in you. Clearly, the strength, determination and unflinching leadership you have demonstrated has been fully recognized and appreciated by the nation.
I also write to thank you for having given me the privilege of serving in your administration. It has been an honor to be part of your team and to have worked with you and Vice President Cheney and I am extremely proud and grateful to have been able to contribute and help advance your agenda.
I believe that our successes in the Department of Energy during the past four years clearly reflect the commitment you have made to America's long term energy and national security.
Since 2001 we have developed the nation's first comprehensive energy plan in over a decade and implemented 90% of its recommendations. We have launched the most ambitious new energy technology initiatives in the world with our Hydrogen and Future Gen programs.
What the heck is the Future Gen program? Was news to me, but apparently it is/could-be/was a big money effort to create a zero-emission coal-based energy system. My prediction: We will see Abraham as a consultant or lobbyist for Future Gen.
Update: JAMES WOLCOTT:"I have no interest in listening to a Chris Matthews panel speculate on who might replace this or that person in the cabinet, as if they were engaging in Rotisserie League baseball. I assume whomever Bush picks will have horns, cloven feet, and a connection to an oil company, so who cares what name the minion goes by?"
Read or listen to Robert Kennedy on Democracy Now! concerning Abraham's legacy.
AMY GOODMAN: Robert Kennedy, Spencer Abraham as the one-term senator from Michigan received more money from the automotive lobby than any sitting senator, and you still have at least at this point, Andrew Card, Chief of Staff, who is a former General Motors lobbyist. How does that affect policy?
ROBERT KENNEDY, JR.: Well, again, you know, the keystone of national energy policy has to be fuel economy standards. But instead of trying to, you know, lower or trying to improve fuel efficiency, this administration cut the tax breaks for hybrid cars, and they implemented a $100,000 tax break for the largest S.U.V.s, for Hummers, essentially. So that you could get -- it can actually be for some people cheaper to buy a Hummer than it would be to buy, for example, a $22,000 Prius, simply because of the huge tax breaks that you can -- that encourages people to buy the least fuel efficient cars. That's not a national energy policy. This administration really was not trying to conserve oil, and to -- and our dependence on foreign oil. The major objective of its energy policy was to serve the interests of the -- you know, of Detroit and the big oil companies. The energy plan that was hatched by Spencer Abraham and Dick Cheney was really written by, literally written by the energy companies, and was by a dream team of energy lobbyists who got together to do the bidding of the president's corporate paymasters in the energy industry.