NRDC's Switchboard blog reports that the Inspector General will investigate the conflicts of interest and incompetence surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline permitting process.
One day after 12,000 protesters stood outside of the White House calling on President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, the Office of the Inspector General has announced an investigation into bias and conflicts of interest associated with the project’s permitting. The review responded to a letter sent by in late October by Senator Bernie Sanders, Representative Steve Cohen and 11 other members of Congress.
Update: Here is a response from Bill McKibben about the State Department’s inspector general decision to conduct a “special review” of the department’s analysis of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline:
“It’s good to see the administration beginning to listen to responsible lawmakers, and we look forward to the results of this inquiry about the warped environmental review process. But it’s important to understand that the process has always been the smaller of our objections. while we’ve been dismayed by the corrupt conduct of the state department, our real problem has from the start been the fact that these tar sands are the second largest pool of carbon on earth.
“Since the State Department didn’t even bother to study that global warming question, the only real answer is to send this back for a whole new review — or, better yet, for the President to simply back up his campaign promises and deny the permit outright.
“Everyone should know that this will only encourage people across America to step up the tar sands fight. We’re headed to Obama offices across the country, including his headquarters in Chicago and in all the swing states, with the same message: President Obama promised to fight for the climate and now without Congress in the way, he can actually do it.”