Dick Cheney has decided to close his office door, and not let anybody out here see what's been going on in there.

The General Accounting Office (GAO) has threatened a lawsuit, one that would force open that door to see who's been consulting with the vice president, in particular, on energy.

Energy is a big deal in this country. We pay a lot for oil, gasoline, natural gas and electricity. If we pay too much, things go haywire. So people want to know what Cheney — a big oil guy — is doing when he's planning a national energy policy.

Was he talking to Enron?

Sure he was. We all know that. And why shouldn't he have talked to the energy giant? Before it collapsed, Enron was thought to be the biggest and most important energy trader in America.

Was there something nefarious going on?

Evidently not. If it were, Enron would have gouged consumers and stayed in business. As was, the company went — as they say in Texas — hoofy side up.

It's obvious that the vice president talked to big oil people. Electricity rates in California went down and gas prices went down. The administration was under pressure to make those things happen, and it did.

So what this is really about is not who Cheney talked to, but who he didn't talk to.

He probably didn't spend a lot of time talking to greenies and conservation people. We already know that he doesn't think we can conserve our way out of our energy shortfall.

But somebody still wants to embarrass him by whining about who got left out: See, he didn't talk to the fuel cell guy! He didn't talk to the electric car guy! He didn't talk to the 150-miles-to-the-gallon woman! See!

It's just another attempt to gin up some political slime for upcoming elections, and it's weak. The GAO should bail on this turkey before it horribly embarrasses itself.

That's My Word.

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