State Department accused of overseeing ‘broken’ process at final Keystone XL public hearing

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Nick Berning, 703-587-4454 (c), 202-222-0748 (o), nberning@foe.org
Kelly Trout, 202-222-0722, ktrout@foe.org

State Department accused of overseeing ‘broken’ process at final Keystone XL public hearing

Landowners, indigenous leaders, youth and other concerned citizens to speak out against dirty tar sands oil pipeline, but will biased State Department listen?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The State Department is expected to face tough questions today about the mounting evidence of oil industry cronyism and bias in its review of the Keystone XL pipeline during the final public hearing on the project taking place in Washington, D.C.

Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth, who plans to testify at today’s hearing, had the following statement:

“We salute the farmers, landowners, indigenous leaders, environmentalists and others who are traveling to Washington to raise their voices. It’s increasingly clear that the State Department is in bed with oil lobbyists and that sustained grassroots pressure is needed to force President Obama’s intervention.

“The Keystone XL pipeline would irrevocably alter the landscape of America, endangering the health of communities from Canada to Texas, in order to fuel oil company profits. Yet, in a slap to the face of all Americans who’ve raised their voices in opposition to this dangerous pipeline, the State Department has repeatedly ignored or dismissed these impacts and has instead coached and cheered TransCanada and its oil industry allies. Over the last two weeks, we’ve seen clear evidence that cronyism and cozy ties to oil lobbyists have corrupted the review process.

“The big outstanding question is: Whose side is President Obama on? President Obama could go a long way toward restoring trust by rejecting oil lobby influence and the Keystone XL pipeline. The first step is revoking the State Department’s authority to approve this pipeline. The people speaking out for the health and safety of their communities deserve a process that’s not rigged in big oil’s favor.”

More information about evidence of a biased and corrupted Keystone XL review process is available at: /news/archives/2011-10-documents-reveal-smoking-gun-regarding-state-departm

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Friends of the Earth fights to defend the environment and create a more healthy and just world. Our campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, keeping toxic and risky technologies out of the food we eat and products we use, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.