Progressives not quite ready to let that Keystone XL “conflict of interest” thing go yet
posted at 2:41 pm on February 28, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
When the State Department’s inspector general announced earlier this week that the investigation into an allegedly undisclosed conflict-of-interest problem with the contractor they hired to conduct Keystone XL’s draft environmental impact report failed to bear any fruit, Rep. Raul Grijalva — the same Arizona Democratic representative who put together this ultra-sciencey anti-Keystone vid and who’s been taking some heat for neglecting his Congressional duties in favor of showy protests with his fellow eco-radicals — was most displeased. He penned this little ditty over at the New York Times (I’ll direct you to Charles Cooke at NRO for a thorough dressing-down on that front), and rather conveniently, just the day before, Sens. Barbara Boxer of California and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island had begun a similar effort to leave no straw left ungrasped with a plea to Secretary Kerry to initiate a more health-centric impact study on the Keystone XL pipeline’s construction. Naturally, these hyper-progressives are now joining forces, via The Hill:
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is joining Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) in his call for the Government Accountability Office to investigate the State Department’s environmental review process for the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Boxer made the request in a letter sent to the GAO on Friday, just days after Grijalva asked for a similar investigation.
“I am writing to join Congressman Grijalva in his request. The State Department must not just follow a process for selecting outside contractors,” Boxer’s letter states. “The process must be rigorous, thorough, and transparent, especially when the project in question could put communities from Alberta, Canada, down to the Gulf Coast at risk. The American people deserve to know that their interests — not special interests — are being protected by our federal agencies.”
The GAO will probably take a couple of weeks to make a final decision on whether to investigate the process, an oh-so-auspicious use of our tax dollars on which these lawmakers and a bunch of environmentalist groups are now insisting — but please, by all means, proceed. At the end of the day, the Keystone XL pipeline will still be in our national interest, because the fact of that matter is that the United States needs to start laying down a lot more pipeline infrastructure to take better advantage of our shale oil and gas boom, and no amount of wind and solar energy is going to be able to provide a viable substitute for fossil fuels for a long time coming.