Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is at the center of an ethical dilemma involving the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
Friends of the Earth, Corporate Ethics International and the Center for International and Environmental Law have filed a lawsuit against Clinton’s State Department
, claiming there is a conflict of interest between the department and TransCanada and asking for information about communication between the groups. TransCanada is the company planning to build the pipeline, which could be approved for construction in the coming weeks. Because the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would cross from Alberta into refineries into the United States, it must be approved by the State Department.
But a report created by DeSmogBlog Executive Director Brendan DeMelle
points out that a former Clinton campaign aid is now working for TransCanada as a lobbyist. That lobbyist, Paul Elliott, once served as Clinton’s national deputy campaign director and was responsible for strengthening ties with influential Democratic governors back in 2008.
This is the information, or lack of it, is what spurred the current lawsuit along with requests for Clinton to recuse herself from the approval process. Currently, the State Department is reviewing the project, sifting through thousands of public comments and completing an environmental impact statement.
If approved, the pipeline would provide a system to transport oil from Alberta’s tar sands
to refineries in the United States.