Friends of the Earth files for release of former Secretary Clintons State Department records related to Keystone XL
FOIA request underscores lingering questions about integrity of KXL review process
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Friends of the Earth has filed a Freedom of Information Act request, demanding the expedited release of all communication between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton related to the agency’s review of the Keystone XL pipeline. Friends of the Earth’s FOIA requests ”all email records, including email attachments, sent to or from Secretary Clinton’s email account (or accounts should there be more than one account) between January, 2009 to February 1, 2013, that discuss, refer to, or in any manner mention Paul Elliot, Anita Dunn, TransCanada or Keystone.”
This request comes in response to recent revelations that Secretary Clinton used a private email server to conduct official business during her tenure as Secretary of State. In December of 2014, Secretary Clinton turned over 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department at the agency’s request. These documents were excluded from previous FOIA requests from Friends of the Earth.
“We are concerned that these records were not included as part of our prior FOIA requests surrounding the State Department’s environmental review of Keystone XL,” said climate and energy program director Ben Schreiber. “The Freedom of Information Act is a bedrock law that allows the public to provide oversight of the conduct of our leaders and to make informed election decisions. Secretary Clinton’s willful circumvention of this accountability mechanism goes against the spirit of transparent governance.”
On April 15, 2013, Friends of the Earth filed a FOIA request demanding the State Department turn over all “documents, records, and materials pertaining to communications between the State Department and the lobbyists or other individuals representing TransCanada” and Canadian government officials.
“We are frankly surprised that our previous FOIA requests did not uncover any documents addressed ‘to’ or ‘from’ the Secretary,” said Schreiber. “This is especially suspect given Secretary Clinton’s close ties with TransCanada lobbyists like Paul Elliot, a former Clinton campaign official.”
“Our analysis of past FOIA requests has uncovered tremendous conflicts of interest in the State Department’s handling of the Keystone XL environmental review process. It is clear that State Department staff had cozy relationships with lobbyists, the government of Canada and the contractors hired to conduct the supposedly independent review,” Schreiber contends. “The agency does not have a clean record and the American people deserve to know the role Secretary Clinton played in overseeing this process.”
Expert Contact: Ben Schreiber, (202) 222-0752, [email protected]
Communications Contact: EA Dyson, (202) 222-0730, [email protected]