The WaPo and Josh Marshall are pointing to an interesting story that appeared in the American of Hattiesburg, MS last Sunday. Here's the lead to the story: Shortly after Hurricane Katrina roared through South Mississippi knocking out electricity and communication systems, the White House ordered power restored to a pipeline that sends fuel to the Northeast. That order - to restart two power substations in Collins that serve Colonial Pipeline Co. - delayed efforts by at least 24 hours to restore power to two rural hospitals and a number of water systems in the Pine Belt. The most intriguing bit: the order came from none other than VP Dick Cheney, who -- in what may be one of the quickest actions taken by the White House -- sprung into action to get the energy pipeline going: Dan Jordan, manager of Southern Pines Electric Power Association, said Vice President Dick Cheney's office called and left voice mails twice shortly after the storm struck, saying the Collins substations needed power restored immediately. Jordan dated the first call the night of Aug. 30 and the second call the morning of Aug. 31. As Josh notes, one can make a case for the decision to ensure the pipeline kept flowing: according to Colonial, it's the "world's largest-volume refined petroleum products pipeline system," running from Texas to New Jersey, where the fuel ends up. But if Cheney's take-charge antics on behalf of a pipeline gets more widely reported, it could also be very damning. First, it puts to rest the notion that the White House was somehow handcuffed from taking quick action in the wake of Katrina. It could also brings into question the administration's priorities. Why did Cheney make calls to ensure drivers in New Jersey had gas rather than help some of the 900,000 people in Mississippi who lost power? UPDATE: The Colonial Pipeline was up to "100% capacity" at least by September 6. According to today's Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, M.S.), "thousands remain without power," including over 43,000 in rural areas of Mississippi. UPDATE 2: AP reports today that Energy Secretary Sam Bodman, Interior Secretary Gale Norton, and Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta paid the Colonial Pipeline a visit yesterday. "You have to know the importance of this operation with three cabinet members coming to the site," said a local official.