Inspector General To Investigate Keystone XL Conflicts

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NRDC's Switchboard blog reports that the Inspector General will investigate the conflicts of interest and incompetence surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline permitting process.

NRDC reports: 

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.

Read the Inspector General's letter announcing the Keystone XL investigation [PDF]

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.”

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A pipeline is such a simple thing. We are at a point where America is becoming fearful of ordinary things. That’s not the history of that country but it is their future.

Much like global warming this is a non issue. If their has been some inappropriate conduct, isolate it from the decisions and then approve the pipeline as there are no good reasons not to.

From what I’ve read, the pipeline upsets the folks who’s land is going to get expropriated.  After that the arguements kinda fling out of control about damage to the aquifer, etc.  That’s why you see so many strange bed fellows arguing against the pipeline.

The biggest opposition seems pretty clear to to me.  Its folks wanting to end the age of oil.  The pipeline just happens to be the current punching bag.

Temporary jobs to build a pipeline are hardly worth getting excited about.  All so we can obtain some expensive oil.

“Its folks wanting to end the age of oil.”

That’s it in a nutshell. Conservationists want to end any and all development of plentiful sources of oil and natural gas. The longer we have those (and coal) for cheap money it keeps the deployment of renewables on the back burner. Hence the cry from Joe Romm of “Deploy, deploy, deploy!!”. He knows it ain’t going to happen if there is all this cheap fuel around.

The thing is, Tar sands will get developed and sold regardless of whether this pipeline is built or not. People need to acknowledge that fact and move on to the battles that can be won.

The Tar Sands development can’t grow without more pipelines.  The one BC is also facing opposition.  If the pipelines get stopped, the tar sands get stopped.

Joe who?

If the pipeline gets stopped, I think Alberta would have to start talking about building refineries and shipping refined products. Piping thick bitumen across a continent seems like a poorly thought out plan anyway. I know there is no such thing as building refineries now but that can change.