House committee subpoenas Kerry's Keystone documents

I wonder if anybody checks John Kerry’s messages for him while he’s negotiating deals with Iran? If they do, there’s one waiting from Jason Chaffetz and he’d like a word about some of the Secretary’s records regarding the investigation of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The House Oversight Committee Wednesday subpoenaed Secretary of State John Kerry for documents related to the review process of the Keystone XL pipeline, saying the department has been “uncooperative.”

Chairman Jason Chaffetz said that Kerry had not complied with two previous requests for copies of other departments’ input on the ongoing review of the Alberta-to-Gulf Coast tar sands pipeline.

“The Department has been uncooperative in the Committee’s efforts to conduct oversight of the Keystone XL permitting process and has shown an unwillingness to recognize the Committee’s legitimate interest in obtaining information. In light of this, a subpoena is necessary and appropriate,” said Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, in a statement.

“We will not be stymied in carrying out our responsibility to the American people to effectively oversee the Executive Branch,” he added.

The oversight committee had requested the records of comments from various departments back in February and received no response. They asked again in June, apparently losing patience and indicating that a subpoena would follow if State did not comply.

Let’s remember that this fight has been going on since January of 2008, when TransCanada Corp. and ConocoPhillips first filed an application to begin the project. That was more than seven years ago. The President has, at various times, spoken positively of the need to create jobs and enhance America’s position as an energy leader. But then he’s turned around – apparently when he needed to rally the base – and declared it an ecological disaster waiting to happen. But through it all he kept insisting (particularly as his reelection approached) that it would get a fair hearing through the normal rules of order and a decision would be forthcoming.

In January of this year, the new Republican led congress voted to force approval of the project and move forward, but on February 24th the President vetoed the bill, still insisting that his administration would make their decision in due time. So precisely when will that due time be up? If Oversight can get a look at all the comments which have been submitted, we may be a little bit closer to solving the mystery. Of course, that doesn’t mean we’ll be any closer to getting it built. And meanwhile, Canada is moving forward with deals to sell their energy to China. And when that happens, the Greens will be happy because they stopped the pipeline, but all the oil will be burned anyway. And it will be burned in a place with far fewer environmental regulations on its use than here at home.

Ah… government’s a fabulous beast, isn’t it?