TransCanada Spent $540,000 Lobbying in Third Quarter For Keystone XL Pipeline

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TransCanada Corp, the company hoping to build the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, spent $540,000 on lobbying in the third quarter of 2011, according to lobbying disclosure records released this week.

In addition to $390,000 reported by Paul Elliott, TransCanada Pipelines, Ltd's infamous in-house lobbyist, two outside firms lobbied on TransCanada's behalf to promote the Keystone XL pipeline: Bryan Cave LLP, which reported $120,000 in earnings from TransCanda in quarter three; and McKenna, Long & Aldridge, which was paid $30,000 by TransCanada in the same period. 

As DeSmog readers know well, the Keystone XL pipeline would carry Alberta tar sands bitumen south to the Gulf Coast at Port Arthur, Texas, where much of it would be exported overseas.

As seen in an earlier investigation conducted by DeSmogBlog, many of the lobbyists acting as hired guns for TransCanada and the Keystone XL Pipeline have direct ties to the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton, whose State Department has been tasked to make the final decison on the pipeline.

These latest figures come on the heels of yesterday's revelation that a former Bryan Cave LLP lobbyist for TransCanada, Broderick Johnson, has been hired to serve on the Obama for President 2012 campaign team. DeSmogBlog first reported that Johnson had lobbied for TransCanada and the Keystone XL pipeline in 2010 in our investigation into the web of lobbyists connected to Clinton and Obama.

“This is a deeply troubling development. A lobbyist who has taken corporate cash to shill for this dirty and dangerous pipeline now has even more opportunity to whisper into the president's ear,” said Kim Huynh of Friends of the Earth, in a statement.

The Obama Administration and its “State Department Oil Services” seem awfully cozy with TransCanada, and this influx of half a million more lobbying dollars over the past few months again raises questions about whether the Obama administration is listening to the will of the people of Nebraska and others concerned about the Keystone XL pipeline, or to the army of tar sands lobbyists promoting this fossil fuel boondoggle.  His campaign team's decision to hire Broderick Johnson sends a pretty clear signal.


Hillary Clinton's State Department Oil Services and Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline by Mark Fiore

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You have a genuine non partisan issue here. All political sides soak up corporate cash. Everybody agrees that it’s a bad thing but how do you stop it?

Money buys elections and politicians everywhere believe that it has to be that way.

“Everybody agrees that it’s a bad thing but how do you stop it?”

Public funding that is capped & no donations or private funding allowed.

Can’t get there from here - everybody in power got there by means of corporate donations. You can’t cut off the branch you’re standing on.

“Can’t get there from here - everybody in power got there by means of corporate donations. You can’t cut off the branch you’re standing on.”

Always the pessimistic view eh Rick? It only takes one politician to say it & ask people to get behind them. I think people would be receptive to that sort of thing. They are sick of the backroom deals & governments acting for vested interests, not national interests.

At some point, one of them has to have the guts to stand up & say this all has to stop. We all want business to thrive & to have a thriving economy, but not at the expense of the majority of citizens & the environment. There needs to be balance. Currently , the scales are tipped in favour of corporations.