Oh, my: Green group suing the State Department over Keystone XL
posted at 5:21 pm on July 16, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
After President Obama’s big climate-change environmentalist pander-fest in June, during which he contended that his administration will not be approving the Keystone XL pipeline unless they find that doing so “does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution,” his ambiguity understandably sent radical environmentalists into a slow-burning tailspin of panic and desperation. Seeing as how Canada plans on developing their oil sands whether or not the United States decides to show up at the market, and that the State Department’s previous reports have nixed exacerbated net climate-change effects, the president certainly didn’t effectively rule out the pipeline’s ultimate approval.
The green groups that have dedicated so much of their time, resources, and PR to killing the project are ergo putting the pressure on the Obama administration in every way they can think of; last week, several were not-so-subtly hinting at organizing mass protests across the country in the event of a green light (uhm… reminder: two-thirds of Americans support building the Keystone pipeline), and one green group is now taking a leaf out of what has typically been conservative groups’ book for extracting some of that much-promised transparency from the Obama administration:
An environmental group is suing the State Department to force release of communications between State officials and lobbyists seeking approval of the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.
Friends of the Earth, in the public records lawsuit filed Tuesday, says the department has failed to provide information that’s “critical” because several pro-Keystone lobbyists once worked for Secretary of State John Kerry or former Secretary Hillary Clinton.
“In light of these relationships, the requested records would allow [Friends of the Earth] to inform the public about the nature of the State Department’s decision-making, and the role any of these lobbyists may be playing in that process,” the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, states.
It challenges State’s refusal to provide “expedited processing” of documents sought in late April under the Freedom of Information Act, noting that, “the value of the records will be lost if not received quickly because the environmental review process is moving forward.”
And in that same vein, both chambers of Congress have now expressed their majority support for the pipeline’s construction, but The Hill also reports that Energy and Natural Resources Committee chair Sen. Ron Wyden is considering conducting some oversight proceedings on the pipeline’s proposal — and I don’t mean the type that would look into the administration’s bizarre and inexcusable dithering about it.
Wyden told reporters Tuesday that he’s had “a number of conversations” with senators about oversight proceedings for the proposed Canada-to-Texas pipeline.
“There are a host of questions with respect to Keystone, foremost of which is the evidence pointing to the fact that much of that energy is going to get exported,” Wyden said after a Senate hearing, highlighting an issue that has divided the pipeline’s backers and detractors. …
Wyden has long said he believes the oil sands Keystone would haul to the Gulf Coast are destined for markets abroad, rather than for domestic consumption — a claim he reiterated Tuesday.
“You’ve got basically half of the refineries in the Gulf Coast area essentially foreign-controlled. And they’ve already indicated that they want to export. And a bunch of the American-owned refineries want to export. So I’ve been concerned for some time about the export question,” he said.
Yes, and I’m sure he in turn has plenty of environmentalist lobbyists whispering in his ear — just like he does with the special interests that are similarly trying their hardest to hold up the natural gas export battle. Because, miraculously, the federal government manages to actively promote exports in some economic sectors, and yet find fictitious reasons for actively deterring them in others — as if free trade in some strange instances somehow doesn’t lead to more wealth and prosperity. Amazing.
Breaking on Hot Air