Wall Street Journal casts doubt on Clintons role in Keystone XL
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. Department of State, under then Secretary Clinton, blocked the release of politically sensitive records from Freedom of Information Act requests, including requests by Friends of the Earth about the Keystone XL pipeline.
In December 2010, Friends of the Earth, Corporate Ethics International and the Center for International Environmental Law filed a FOIA request for documents and information regarding all U.S. State Department communications involving the State Department and Paul Elliott, a lobbyist for TransCanada Pipelines. A month later, the State Department denied the FOIA request. The groups appealed that decision and filed suit. In late 2011, the groups amended their FOIA request to include more Keystone XL lobbyists with ties to Secretary Clinton, and filed another request for agreements regarding Cardno Entrix. In February 2012, the groups again filed suit to gain access to communication with lobbyists.
Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica offered the following response:
This revelation seems to confirm our worst fears. It seems that Secretary Clinton’s State Department purposefully hid undue corporate influence in the decision-making process for the Keystone XL pipeline. At best, this continues Clinton’s career-long pattern of opaqueness and secrecy; at worst, it reveals a willful and flagrant disregard for public information and transparency.
Her actions undermine the Freedom of Information Act — a law that is fundamental to government transparency and accountability. Friends of the Earth and other government watchdogs rely on this act to play our role. Secretary Clinton and the State Department have denied the public’s right to a fair and transparent Keystone XL review process. We take these revelations very seriously and are exploring all legal options.
Expert contact: Ben Schreiber, (202) 222-0752, [email protected]
Communications contact: Kate Colwell, (202) 222-0744, [email protected]