State Department Emails Reveal Cozy Relationship With TransCanada Lobbyist

Mon, 2011-10-03 11:56Brendan DeMelle
Brendan DeMelle's picture

State Department Emails Reveal Cozy Relationship With TransCanada Lobbyist

Friends of the Earth today released “deeply disturbing” emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request illustrating “pro-pipeline bias and complicity at the State Department‚” over the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

The 200 pages of new documents [PDF] show that TransCanada lobbyist Paul Elliott, who served as deputy national campaign director and chief of delegate selection to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, exchanged troubling emails with Marja Verloop, a State Department official who works on energy and environmental issues at the U.S. embassy in Ottawa.

In one email, Verloop offers comforting words to Elliott, assuring him that “at the end of the day it's precisely because you have connections that you're sought after and hired.” [PDF]

Friends of the Earth recently called for the Justice Department to investigate Paul Elliott, who appears to have lobbied the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline for more than a year without registering as a lobbyist.


Read some of the coverage of this latest development in the State Department's strange handling of the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline permit request:

The New York Times:

TransCanada Pipeline Foes See U.S. Bias in E-Mails
by Elisabeth Rosenthal


Washington Post:

Keystone pipeline e-mails show friendly exchanges
by Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson


The Hill:

Green group says TransCanada, State Dept. emails show 'pro-pipeline bias'

by Andrew Restuccia


Huffington Post:

Keystone Pipeline Lobbyist Had Cozy Relationship With State Department Staffers, New Emails Show
by Tom Zeller Jr.


Politico:

Enviros: TransCanada, State emails 'cozy'
by Bob King


And if you haven't seen it already, a message from Hillary Clinton's State Department Oil Services…:
  

[x]

When most environmentalists and folks who follow pipeline markets think of TransCanada, they think of the proposed northern half of its Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. 

Flying beneath the public radar, though, is another TransCanada-proposed pipeline with a similar function as Keystone XL. But rather than for carrying tar sands bitumen to the Gulf Coast, this pipeline would bring to market shale gas...

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