Mother Jones: State Dept Hid Conflict of Interest in Keystone XL Pipeline DEIS

Keyston XL

It came as no surprise to people concerned about the environment that the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline was shoddy and misleading. It’s been suspected for some time that the fix is in for the Obama administration to approve the pipeline. Andy Kroll of Mother Jones discovered just how badly this is being rigged (emphasis added).

The contractor that produced the bulk of the report was Environmental Resources Management (ERM), an international consulting firm. On the day the State Department published the Keystone impact report, the agency also released a cache of documents that ERM submitted in 2012 to win the contract to produce the Keystone environmental report. That cache included a 55-page filing in which ERM stated it had no conflicts of interests writing the Keystone report.

But there was something strange about ERM’s conflict-of-interest filing: The bios for the ERM’s experts were redacted.

Here’s what those redactions kept secret: ERM’s second-in-command on the Keystone report, Andrew Bielakowski, had worked on three previous pipeline projects for TransCanada over seven years as an outside consultant. He also consulted on projects for ExxonMobil, BP, and ConocoPhillips, three of the Big Five oil companies that could benefit from the Keystone XL project and increased extraction of heavy crude oil taken from the Canadian tar sands.

Another ERM employee who contributed to State’s Keystone report—and whose prior work history was also redacted—previously worked for Shell Oil; a third worked as a consultant for Koch Gateway Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of Koch Industries. Shell and Koch* have a significant financial interest in the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. ERM itself has worked for Chevron, which has invested in Canadian tar sands extraction, according to its website.

President Obama has the final say regarding the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline. He delayed the process until after last year’s election. A final decision on the Keystone XL remains months, if not a year or more, away. Will it be thumbs up or thumbs down?

UPDATE: Exxon’s Pegasus Tar Sands Pipeline Ruptures in Central Arkansas

A residential subdivision was evacuated due to the toxic spill, and Interstate 40 was closed.

  1. #1 by cav on March 24, 2013 - 3:34 pm

    Climate change is not in our national interest.

    Making money, however, is in our capitalist overlord’s interest. It’s even been suggested the bi-laws dictate the illegality of not going for the very last penny. Threatening to penalize them for not doing so. Or so they make it sound.

    Priorities Brethren.

  2. #3 by cav on March 25, 2013 - 10:13 am

    Powerlessness and the looming demise of some soon to be mythological middle class status, might compel collectivists to forget who they are and do what their masters are dictating.

    Synthetic credit default swaps is still my fave.

  3. #4 by brewski on March 25, 2013 - 10:56 am

    I don’t see how steel worker unions, and internal combustion engine unions, and coal miners unions ever had any aligned interests with the suburban brie eating liberals buying their low carbon impact non-GMO cereal.

    • #5 by Cliff on March 25, 2013 - 11:27 am

      Brewski,

      I imagine there are many fanciful ideas in your fear-dominated brain.

  4. #6 by Obama's jack booted thruncheon weilding goons on March 25, 2013 - 12:27 pm

    Nothing but crypto fascist, communist sicko reality in yours cliff, it is amusing to see such a total loser asshole like you judge others.

  5. #7 by Larry Bergan on March 25, 2013 - 2:51 pm

    At least Canadians have an involvement in this pipeline to China.

    Makes US look somewhat better, I guess.

    I have nothing against the Chinese, but they tend to scare me.

    The WWW, (whole Wide World), has to change.

    More open air rock concerts!

  6. #8 by Larry Bergan on March 25, 2013 - 3:06 pm

    Peace-ify!

  7. #9 by brewski on March 25, 2013 - 3:31 pm

    Good to see Cliff and Larry on the opposite side from the unions.

  8. #10 by Larry Bergan on March 25, 2013 - 4:17 pm

    brewski has a real name.

    It never changes. :)

    He/It always tells the truth. :)

  9. #11 by Richard Warnick on March 25, 2013 - 5:09 pm

    brewski:

    (1) President Obama doesn’t care about the unions. Otherwise we would have the Employee Free Choice Act.

    (2) The unions are crazy if they think Keystone XL will be a job creator. It would create a grand total of 35 permanent jobs.

    (3) The Keystone XL pipeline is for exporting petroleum overseas, which would likely increase the cost of gasoline in North America – placing a drag on our economy.

  10. #12 by brewski on March 25, 2013 - 8:06 pm

    You must be a racist since Cliff and Glenden have both proclaimed that no one is allowed to criticize him for any reason at all and that the only reason anyone would is because you are a racist. You need to be sent to one of your re-education camps to learn the right thoughts to think.

  11. #13 by Larry Bergan on March 25, 2013 - 8:35 pm

    What brewski doesn’t have the guts to say is “political correctness”, because it is a pillar of the right wing strategy.

    Criticize any part of the war machine and you’re toast.

    Phil Donahue STILL doesn’t have a show.

  12. #14 by brewski on March 25, 2013 - 10:06 pm

    http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/phil-donahue-net-worth/

    I’m sure Phil is crying all the way to the bank.

  13. #15 by cav on March 26, 2013 - 8:56 am

    Two things.

    I remember telling a friend back in the Reagan era, “who says the money piped to the top has to trickle in this country?”

    That seems to me now like the retiree setting up in the lower latitudes where it’s always been known that for $900.00 a month, one could ‘live like a king’.

    That may be all that the ‘richies’ are doing, but how must it be to have billions, when your house cleaner and cook staff are still working for pennies?

    There’s a Greed-Multiplier in there somewhere.

    Second. If all of the Sequester Sacrificing were as painful as it is supposed to be, and if, as was specified in that portion of the bill, Social Security and Medicare were excluded from the cuts, shouldn’t we then be able to let go of the talk of cutting them (SS & MediC) both – having already addressed our pain-promoting, and necessary (if you listen to the PTB) deficit cuts?

  14. #16 by Richard Warnick on March 30, 2013 - 12:09 pm

    UPDATE: Exxon’s Pegasus Tar Sands Pipeline Ruptures in Central Arkansas

    A residential subdivision was evacuated due to the toxic spill, and Interstate 40 was closed.

  15. #17 by brewski on March 30, 2013 - 2:31 pm

    So the State department hid their conflicts of interest. Hillary Clinton was the head of the State Department at the time. Hillary Clinton is the odds-on favorite to be the next Democratic nominee for President.

    The party of corrupt cronyism continues.

    • #18 by Richard Warnick on March 30, 2013 - 3:36 pm

      Our choice is between Dem corporatists and GOP corporatists. We need a Progressive Party.

  16. #19 by brewski on March 30, 2013 - 4:47 pm

    Don’t tell that to Glenden and Cliff. Glenden keeps telling us that only one party is the problem. Cliff keeps advocating violence and crime.

  17. #20 by cav on March 31, 2013 - 6:13 pm

    We don’t need a corporatist of either stripe in the White House. What we need is a Democrat!

  18. #21 by Larry Bergan on March 31, 2013 - 6:37 pm

    Here Here!

  19. #23 by Larry Bergan on March 31, 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Two tar sands spills?

    Time to clean up the media!

  20. #24 by brewski on March 31, 2013 - 7:55 pm

    “We don’t need a corporatist of either stripe in the White House. What we need is a Democrat!”

    Thanks for the laugh.

  21. #25 by Larry Bergan on March 31, 2013 - 8:15 pm

    Vote for Jeb! :)

  22. #26 by brewski on March 31, 2013 - 9:47 pm

    Jeb sucks.

  23. #27 by Larry Bergan on March 31, 2013 - 10:58 pm

    Noname:

    So can I assume that you don’t support a Bush Royal Family?

  24. #29 by brewski on April 1, 2013 - 11:17 am

    In related news: Utah lefty blogger drives hundreds of miles in his single passenger car on fuel made from oil and whines about how bad those companies that make his fuel are.

    • #30 by Richard Warnick on April 1, 2013 - 11:45 am

      Let’s end the taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil. Let’s have affordable electric cars, and electricity from renewable sources, and consumers will have a choice.

      BTW I’m a conservative, and former Libertarian.

  25. #32 by brewski on April 1, 2013 - 11:52 am

    Describe to me how you are a conservative.

    • #33 by Richard Warnick on April 1, 2013 - 12:12 pm

      Simple. I believe in upholding the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law. I want individual freedom. I like free enterprise. I want the government to be fiscally responsible, and to respect the rights of citizens. I want a foreign policy that John Quincy Adams would approve of.

      Most of all, I believe in democracy. Our political system today has anti-democratic tendencies that favor the 1 Percent over the 99 Percent.

  26. #34 by brewski on April 1, 2013 - 12:41 pm

    “I believe in upholding the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law.”
    You approve of the Kelo ruling, which is not conservative.

    “I want individual freedom.”
    You want more power to the State.

    “I like free enterprise.”
    You want to chase away businesses, money and jobs.

    “I want the government to be fiscally responsible,”
    You seem to have no problem with the government making promises about the future that it cannot meet. You approve of the government cutting SS benefits by 25% starting in 2036.

    “and to respect the rights of citizens.”
    You don’t respect citizens’ right to have secure borders.

    “I want a foreign policy that John Quincy Adams would approve of.”
    You and Pat Buchanan.

    • #35 by Richard Warnick on April 1, 2013 - 1:31 pm

      How shallow can you get? BTW Pat Buchanan would be surprised to learn you don’t consider him a conservative.

      • #36 by brewski on April 1, 2013 - 5:31 pm

        The only thing shallow is your understanding of the words “public use” “equal protection” “Marxism” “individual freedom” “free enterprise” “fiscally responsible” “rights” “capitalism” “Christianity” and “hypocrite”.

        • #37 by Richard Warnick on April 1, 2013 - 10:06 pm

          Tar sands oil is the most toxic fossil fuel on the planet. It’s leaking all over the place. So focus on the topic, please.

          • #38 by brewski on April 2, 2013 - 7:19 am

            I take it you will be boycotting driving as a protest.

  27. #40 by Richard Warnick on April 2, 2013 - 2:41 pm

    A technicality has spared Exxon from having to pay any money into the fund that will be covering most of the clean up costs of its Arkansas pipeline spill. A 1980 law ensures that diluted bitumen is not classified as oil, and companies transporting it in pipelines do not have to pay into the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

    Exxon Mobil earned $44.9 billion overall in 2012, just $300 million short of the world record for most profitable corporation ever.

    But we have to pay to clean up their mess!

  28. #41 by brewski on April 2, 2013 - 4:11 pm

    Another false post.

    When will you start doing your homework before embarrassing yourself by promoting your ignorance?

  29. #43 by brewski on April 2, 2013 - 4:56 pm

    The part right after “#40 by Richard Warnick on April 2, 2013 – 2:41 pm”

    • #44 by Richard Warnick on April 2, 2013 - 5:12 pm

      Is Dilbit Oil? Congress and the IRS Say No

      Dilbit [diluted bitumen] is exempt from the tax, because the 1980 legislation that created the tax states that “the term crude oil does not include synthetic petroleum, e.g., shale oil, liquids from coal, tar sands, or biomass…”

      …The U.S. currently imports more than 1.2 million barrels of Canadian dilbit and synthetic crude (another kind of tar sands oil) per day. The tax exemption is worth at least $35 million a year, and that figure will grow as the industry seeks to build thousands of miles of new pipelines—including the much-debated Keystone XL—to handle increased imports.

  30. #45 by brewski on April 2, 2013 - 5:18 pm

    Your post is still false.

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