At the U.S. State Dept.’s sole public hearing on the Environmental Impact review for the Keystone XL pipeline last month in Grand Island, Nebraska, myself and hundreds of other Nebraskans waited outside for hours in a blizzard for the chance to stand face-to-face with your State Dept. representatives, and look them in the eyes while they listened to our stories and our testimony urging the State Dept. to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.
Along with myself, representatives from Sierra Club and Nebraska Farmers Union testified that the State Dept.’s environmental review process for Keystone XL was both flawed and biased. We remain very concerned that, in hiring the firm of Environmental Resources Management (ERM) to write the bulk of the draft environmental review for the Keystone XL pipeline, the State Department:
- Hired a company (ERM) with close connections to Big Oil companies, including TransCanada
- Hired a company (ERM) that is a dues-paying member of the American Petroleum Institute
- Concealed evidence of ERM’s close connections with Big Oil, by redacting contractors’ biographies from ERM’s technical proposal
- Used a flawed review of the pipeline route in Nebraska
- Failed to use the thorough conflict of interest vetting processes recommended by State’s own Office of the Inspector General in 2012
I testified in Grand Island about the rampant conflicts of interest in your State Dept.’s review. I testified as a young American who still has powerful belief in the responsibility of government to do the right thing for the citizens of this country.
Four days after the hearing, the Environmental Protection Agency submitted its own concerns about the State Dept.’s flawed environmental review. Between the EPA’s criticisms and the serious issues with conflicts of interest and biases that have been exposed, we see serious reasons to question the environmental review’s legitimacy.
We ask that you please halt the current Keystone XL review process, and demand an investigation into the seriously defective environmental impact statement released by the State Department.
We cannot allow the decision on this dirty and dangerous tarsands pipeline to be based on a flawed and biased environmental report. Our land, water and homes are at stake.
Request for Inspector General Investigation Into Keystone XL Environmental Review, 4/22/13:
“State Dept. Hid Contractor’s Ties to Keystone XL Pipeline Company”:
“Critical Part of Keystone Report Done by Firms with Deep Oil Industry Ties”:
“Keystone XL Still Crosses Sandhills, Still Crosses Aquifer”
“Entrix, TransCanada and the State Department: The Fox is Guarding the Hen House”
“Keystone Conflict (Again): HDR Must Be Fired”
“State Dept. Hearing on Keystone XL, Grand Island, NE, April 18 2013”