Friends of the Earth responds to the State Department IG report on Keystone XL conflicts of interest
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the State Department Inspector General released the findings of its investigation into conflicts of interest by Keystone XL pipeline environmental review vendor Environmental Resources Management. The report also explored agency procedure which identifies and evaluates third-party vendors. Below is a statement from Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica:
“This Inspector General Report raises more questions than it answers. In fact it reveals serious errors in the State Department’s process for vetting conflicts of interest. It’s conclusion that the agency followed its procedures, seems to rest mainly on interviews with State Department lawyers who, the report points out, never documented all of the supposed due diligence they were conducting.
There are notable failures in the process, including the fact that ERM only disclosed its relationship with TransCanada after they were awarded the contract; even though conflicts of interest were supposed to be one of the criteria. This is not reassuring, but we’re hopeful that the GAO will get to the bottom of this.
In the meantime, President Obama has more than enough information to deny the pipeline, and we remain confident that he will do so.”