I and many other people have been arguing for quite some time now that the Keystone Pipeline will be approved. The reason for that is simple: follow the money. Oil industry companies and lobbyists have spent an extraordinary amount of money on influencing this process. There have also been reports of conflicts of interests of some key government people... NYT: Report May Ease Way to Approval of Keystone Pipeline
The State Department released a report on Friday that could pave the way toward President Obama’s approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.This latest report does nothing to address an ongoing pattern of a process that appears to be rigged in favor of oil interests, as reported by truthout:
The long-awaited environmental impact statement on the project concludes that approval or denial of the pipeline, which would carry 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Gulf Coast, is unlikely to prompt oil companies to change the rate of their extraction of carbon-heavy tar sands oil, a State Department official said. Either way, the tar sands oil, which produces significantly more planet-warming carbon pollution than standard methods of drilling, is coming out of the ground, the report says.
Environmentalists criticized the new review, particularly in light of the investigation.
“In what could be perceived as eagerness to please the oil industry and Canadian government, the State Department is issuing this report amidst an ongoing investigation into conflicts of interest, and lying, by its contractor,” said Erich Pica, the president of Friends of the Earth. “By letting the oil industry influence this process, Secretary Kerry is undermining his long-established reputation as a leader in the fight against climate change.”
Oil lobbyists applauded the review, saying they saw it as a signal that Mr. Obama would approve the pipeline.
[The emphasis is mine]
... Review of the northern section of the pipeline, the fate of which remains up in the air, has been mired in controversy. For starters, TransCanada’s director of government relations, Paul Elliot, was also the national deputy director for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 run for president. And Clinton was heading the State Department when the agency began reviewing the pipeline’s environmental impact.The handwriting is on the wall. Follow the money, and the conflicts of interests, as we descend into becoming a banana republic...
The draft environmental impact statement that the State Department reviewed was not done by the agency itself but by a contractor, Environmental Resources Management, and paid for by TransCanada itself. Contractors who worked on the statement also worked on previous TransCanada pipelines as well as for companies such as ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Koch Gateway Pipeline Company — all of whom could benefit from the project. It was later found that the State Department intentionally kept the public in the dark about the connections. To make matters worse, Environmental Resources Management is listed as a member of industry groups such as the American Petroleum Institute, Western Energy Alliance, and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers. Conflict of interest?
[The emphasis is mine]