Keystone XL Pipeline under investigation for bias and conflict of interest

Last month we wrote about what appeared to be conflicts of interest in the facilitation of the U.S. Department of State’s public hearings (one of which took place in Austin, TX), and the environmental impact analysis of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline that would transport Canadian tar sands 1,700 miles to Texas refineries.  Keystone XL is now coming under scrutiny for bias and conflicts of interest by the State Department’s inspector general.

The investigation was announced by the inspector general in Washington on Tuesday, November 8th, and was prompted by a Congressional request headed by U.S. Senator Bernard Sanders (D-Vermont) and U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn).

Environmental critics are particularly interested in the state department’s hiring of Cardno Entrix of Texas to help prepare an analysis of the environmental impact of the project and facilitating the public hearings around the country. The company had a preexisting business relationship with the pipeline’s builder, Trans Canada.

The inspector general’s memorandum and the Congressional request for the investigation can be read by clicking here.