San­ders and Welch Wel­come State Depart­ment IG In­ves­ti­ga­tion of Tar Sands Pipe­line

Stanstead Journal - - FROM PAGE ONE -

Washington, DC

Sen. Bernie San­ders (I-VT.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT.) Mon­day 7th, wel­comed a “spe- cial re­view” by the State Depart­ment in­spec­tor gen­eral of the depart­ment’s han­dling of a con­tro­ver­sial Tar Sands oil pipe­line.

San­ders and Welch led mem­bers of Congress who last Oct. 26 asked Deputy In­spec­tor Gen­eral Harold W. Geisel to in­ves­ti­gate whether con­flicts of

in­ter­est tainted the process for re­view­ing a pro­posed crude oil pipe­line from Canada to the Gulf of Mex­ico.

San­ders said, “I ap­pre­ci­ate the in­spec­tor gen­eral’s re­spon­sive­ness to our re­quest and the will­ing­ness to treat this im­por­tant mat­ter, and the al­le­ga­tions of con­flicts of in­ter­est, with the se­ri­ous­ness it de­serves. This is a crit­i­cally im­por­tant is­sue for our environment and the en­ergy fu­ture of our coun­try. At a time when all cred­i­ble sci­en­tific ev­i­dence and opinion in­di­cate that we are los­ing the bat­tle against global warm­ing, it is im­per­a­tive that we have ob­jec­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ments of ma­jor car­bon-de­pen­dent en­ergy projects.

Welch said, “I am pleased that the in­spec­tor gen­eral will shine the late of day on the State Depart­ment’s con­clu­sion that the Key­stone XL pipe­line will not harm the environment. This un­prece­dented project will carry 900,000 bar­rels of tar sands oil nearly 2,000 miles ev­ery day. The U.S. pipe­line sys­tem was not de­signed for it and safety reg­u­la­tions were not writ­ten with mas­sive projects like this in mind. The Amer­i­can peo­ple have a right to know how the State Depart­ment reached its con­clu­sion. This in­ves­ti­ga­tion is a step in the right di­rec­tion.”

San­ders and Welch also had asked the White House to with­hold any de­ci­sion on the project un­til the in­spec­tor gen­eral’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion is com­pleted, made pub­lic and eval­u­ated. “I once again urge Pres­i­dent Obama to de­fer any de­ci­sion on the pipe­line un­til the State Depart­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been com­pleted,” the se­na­tor re­it­er­ated to­day.

Tran­scanada, the com­pany propos­ing the Key­stone XL pipe­line project, re­port­edly was al­lowed to screen pri­vate firms com­pet­ing to per­form an en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact study on the pipe­line. Cardno En­trix, the po­lit­i­cally-con­nected firm ul­ti­mately se­lected to con­duct the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact study, had sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial ties to Tran­scanada.

The 1,700-mile pipe­line would carry more than half a mil­lion bar­rels of oil a day from Canada’s tar sands to re­finer­ies in Texas. The State Depart­ment is re­view­ing the pro­posal be­cause the pipe­line would cross the in­ter­na­tional bor­der be­tween the United States and Canada.

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