EPA Worked With Enviro Groups to Kill Keystone XL Pipeline

By:  Raven Clabough
01/23/2014
       
EPA Worked With Enviro Groups to Kill Keystone XL Pipeline

Recent e-mails reveal that the EPA was plotting with environmental groups to kill the Keystone XL pipeline.

E-mails obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been plotting with environmental groups to kill the Keystone XL pipeline, which would run from Canada to Texas. The request was filed by the Energy and Environmental Legal Institute. Lawmakers indicate that the e-mails are “damning.”

Advocates of the Keystone XL Pipeline claimed that the project would create tens of thousands of jobs in the oil industry, and that the construction alone would have created 20,000 jobs. The plan was rejected by President Obama, and e-mails show that the EPA had been colluding with environmental groups to ensure that the Keystone XL Pipeline project would not come to fruition.

Under its former name, the American Tradition Institute, the Energy and Environmental Legal Institute (EELI) filed two specific 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. For months, the EPA refused to process the requests, and an EPA FOIA specialist admitted that she and her colleague were instructed not to work on the requests.

Much of the e-mails that were exposed as a result of the requests are between the EPA and the Sierra Club.

One communication revealed Lena Moffit of the Sierra Club writing to three senior policy staffers at the EPA, including Michael Goo, then the associate administrator for policy, on the subject of the Keystone XL pipeline.

An e-mail from Moffit to Alex Barron, EPA senior advisor in the Office of Policy, acknowledges a strategy session that took place the day before with the agency officials: "Thanks so much for taking the time to meet with us on Keystone XL yesterday.... I know this is a tough issue but please do let me know if I can be helpful in any way — particularly in further identifying those opportunities for EPA to engage that don’t involve ‘throwing your body across the tracks,’ as Michael put it.”

Chris Horner of the Energy and Environment Legal Institute asserts that as a government agency, the EPA cannot overtly attempt to kill the pipeline, and therefore must reach out to environmental groups for ideas on how to do it.

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