Just this afternoon, the State Department’s inspector general basically cleared the department of allegations (stemming from the Sierra Club and other environmentalist groups, as well as the likes of Rep. Raul Grijalva) that it violated conflict-of-interest procedures when it hired a contractor with potential ties to TransCanada and the America Petroleum Institute to conduct the draft environmental impact report. Nope, not much there, says the IG, via Politico:

The IG launched its investigation after environmentalists alleged that the contractor, Environmental Resources Management, had failed to fully disclose its ties to the oil industry and other interests that would benefit if the Obama administration approves the Alberta-to-Texas oil pipeline.

Greens also contended that the department failed to vet the company closely enough before hiring it to work on a sweeping study of Keystone’s environmental impact.

But after reviewing documents and interviewing State Department officials, the inspector general’s office found that the department had followed its prescribed vetting process — “and at times was more rigorous than that guidance.”

The IG also “found that the process the Department used to assess organizational conflicts of interest was effective in that (i) a reasonable review was undertaken to independently evaluate ERM’s certification that it had no conflict of interest and (ii) the process achieved its intended result,” the report continued.

OK, sweet — that’s resolved, so we can all move forward now with this job- and wealth-creating piece of pipeline infrastructure, of which our shale boom is in current and desperate need, and on which there have now been multiple environmental impact reviews, and for which there is large bipartisan support, and by which we would really help out our northern neighbor from whom we obtain a plurality of our energy imports? Right?

I kid, of course.

A debate of more than five years could stretch even longer with Wednesday’s call for a health study on the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.

Two Democratic senators — Barbara Boxer of California and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island — urged Secretary of State John Kerry to examine higher rates of cancer and other illness reported in places impacted by the “tar sands” oil from northern Alberta.

Their letter to Kerry sought to further delay the project that has support from Republicans, some Democrats, the oil industry and labor unions. A Pew Research Center poll in September showed 65% of respondents favored building it.

You can read more of her exact and asinine remarks here, but I just can’t, ya’ll. The lengths to which some of these progressives will go in their anti-intellectual crusade to forcibly wean us off of fossil fuels never ceases to amaze.