TransCanada, the company seeking Obama administration approval to build the Keystone XL pipeline to bring Canadian tar sands to Texas refineries, has used a former Hillary Clinton campaign official to lobby the State Department, in a “cozy and complicitous relationship.”
New emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by Friends of the Earth refer to “multiple meetings between TransCanada officials and assistant secretaries of state,” while that access was denied to environmental groups seeking input. In one exchange, a State Department official tells her friend Paul Elliott, the TransCanada lobbyist who used to work for Hillary Clinton, “at the end of the day it’s precisely because you have connections that you’re sought after and hired”:
“We are committed to a fair, transparent and thorough process,” State Department official Wendy Nassmacher told the New York Times, noting the State Department had conducted hearings along the route of the proposed pipeline. The hearings were managed by a private company that works for TransCanada. The final public hearing on the pipeline is taking place in Washington, DC on Friday.