On September 22, there was a release of internal State Department emails that provide evidence of bias in the review of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline.
The correspondence — between State Department employees and oil giant TransCanada’s lead lobbyist (a former Hillary Clinton campaign aide) — reveal that the agency is tipping the scales toward Big Oil in its review of this potentially devastating pipeline, which would stretch more than 1,700 miles from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton already said she is “inclined” to approve the Keystone XL. Now we have evidence that her employees sought to help TransCanada get a rubber stamp.
During his campaign, President Obama pledged to “tell the lobbyists in Washington that their days of setting the agenda are over.” It would appear the State Department failed to get the memo, but the president can still make things right.
Tell President Obama to show Big Oil lobbyists the door. If he pays attention to independent experts, instead of the biased State Department review, he must reject the Keystone XL pipeline.
Unearthed through a Freedom of Information Act request, the State Department emails demonstrate that officials gave TransCanada information about the agency’s internal thinking and coached TransCanada on what to say during the environmental review process.
The State Department has clearly erred, but President Obama can make things right by saying ‘no’ to the Keystone XL pipeline.
Tar sands extraction is already wreaking havoc on indigenous communities’ land and health in Canada, and Keystone XL will extend that health burden to refinery communities in Texas where the pipeline would end. What’s more, the pipeline would be built over the Ogallala Aquifer, which spans eight states, provides drinking water to two million people, and supports $20 billion in agriculture. A spill could be catastrophic. Previous tar sands pipelines have already resulted in dozens of spills throughout North America.
The decision to approve the pipeline is President Obama’s and President Obama’s alone. With a stroke of his pen, he can ignite or defuse what leading climate scientist Dr. James Hansen has called the biggest “carbon bomb” on the continent. The president can and should reject the Keystone XL — and live up to the promises he made in 2008 to curb corporate cash and influence in our democracy.
Tell President Obama to stick to his word: Stop the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Washington Post has already reported on these emails. You can read the story here: TransCanada pipeline lobbyist works all angles with former colleagues.