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Skip wrote:

>The real issue is people making political hay out of conversations which
>SHOULD be private.  Regardless of which party controls the Executive
>branch, those in power should be permitted to consult privately and
>candidly with experts in the fields being discussed.

Well, sort of.  We can talk about how the world should work, but for the
moment the way the world works is that the federal government is bound by
the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).  I have been involved in
advisory meetings with federal agencies that were governed by FACA, and
they therefore must be open to the public, both for attendance and public
comment.  (Was kind of funny when the friend I was staying with asked me
what my biz meeting was about - hey, you can just show up and find out for
yourself!)

I have also been involved in processes that we structured in a certain way
so that they would not fall under FACA.  The argument during the Clinton
health care debate was that it fell under FACA, and therefore should be
open to the public.  I do not know if thatís an issue with the energy
meetings though.

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