Friday, September 14, 2007

Let the Iraqi Oil Hunt Begin!

In one of the strangest moves to date, an American oil company signed a deal with Iraq's Kurdish regional government. This occurred as the Bush administration continues to press for a national Iraq oil law, one that shares the proceeds, however meager, with "all the citizens" of Iraq. What makes it even more odd is the U.S. company is Hunt Oil, whose CEO Ray Hunt is a personal friend of President George W. Bush. Ray recently dined on Dover Sole with Queen Elizabeth in the Bush version of the Clinton Lincoln Bedroom. Who says Bush doesn't wine and dine his major donors? Ray even made Pioneer status.

While the Kurdish region passed an oil law last August, there is risk in Hunt Oil's inking a deal prior to the signing of a national law. President Bush holds the trump card with his Executive Order 13303, intended to maintain the integrity of Iraq's oil resources. Might he or the Treasury Chief declare the Hunt deal illegal? Doubtful, as Ray served as Chair of the Dallas Federal Reserve System Bank.

As for President Bush, the two men are thick as thieves. Ray Hunt served as Chairman of the Board of Southern Methodist University, future home of the Bush Library. He still sits on the board of that august institute of higher learning. Unfortunately the Bush Library will paint the Bush Presidency as something other than an eight year exercise in partisan division. Hopefully Freedom's Watch will get a corner with windows as it rode in to save the long suffering Bush legacy.

Ray Hunt's connections wind throughout the Iraq oil deal. Ray serves on President Bush's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and a member of the National Petroleum Council which advises the Secretary of Energy. Mr. Hunt shares the boardroom table at EDS, founded by Ross Perot. The only other oil firm to ink a deal in Kurdistan is associated with Ross Perot Jr.

It looks like politically connected Ray is ready to do more Texas style wildcatting. I think the Iraqi people have enough problems without unleashing a rabid Republican into their midst.