Mother Jones has a breaking investigation out on another scandal pertaining to the Obama State Department's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline.
The skinny: the firm that DeSmogBlog revealed has historical ties to Big Tobacco and currently has a client list that includes Koch Industries, ConocoPhillips and BP, Environmental Resources Management (ERM) Group, also has a direct connection to TransCanada itself. ERM Group - DeSmog revealed - also rubber-stamped the controversial and environmentally hazardous Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan (BTC) Pipeline in 2003, which carries oil and gas produced in the Caspian Sea in Baku, Azerbaijan to Tbilisi, Georgia and eventually makes its way to Ceyhan, Turkey.
Andy Kroll summed up Mother Jones' new discovery about ERM, writing,
ERM's second-in-command on the Keystone report, Andrew Bielakowski, had worked on three previous pipeline projects for TransCanada over seven years as an outside consultant. He also consulted on projects for ExxonMobil, BP, and ConocoPhillips, three of the Big Five oil companies that could benefit from the Keystone XL project and increased extraction of heavy crude oil taken from the Canadian tar sands.
Embarassed by this act of blatant corruption, the State Department redacted the “biographies” portion of its EIS, an overt attempted cover-up. Mother Jones tracked down a non-redacted version, revealing the ties that bind the study to the corporation the EIS is technically supposed to stand independent of.
Bielakowski's ties, coming full circle, are a logical next step in the story.
Brad Johnson, writing for Grist, revealed that the State Department actually allowed TransCanada to hire a contractor on its behalf. TransCanda, of course, went to a go-to-guy who can “deliver the goods.”
“Delivering the goods,” of course, has little to do with delivering good science and is yet another act of deploying the Tobacco Playbook: make a one-sided scientific debate a farcical two-sided one.