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Members of Congress call for investigation of Keystone XL approval process

More than a dozen members of the U.S. Congress sent a letter (PDF) to President Obama and to the Inspector General of the U.S. State Department requesting an investigation of the approval process for the Keystone XL pipeline.

The demand for an investigation generated comment from environmentalists who opposed the approval of the project. Bill McKibben, who organized the Tar Sands Action protests at the White House, reacted by saying, “If the Obama administration is serious about running a transparent government, they should welcome this request. On its face, this environmental review was a classic example of corporate dominance of our politics, exactly the kind of thing Occupy Wall Street has been fixing the nation’s attention on. Let’s hope this inquiry can get to the bottom of at least this one abuse.”

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said:

“TransCanada hired good friends of Secretary Clinton to lobby for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and it seems to have paid off with access and patronage from the State Department.”

“This is surprising from Secretary Clinton, whom we’ve known as a champion of children’s health and the environment. It’s time to roll back the curtain on TransCanada, this dirty political insider game, and this dangerous and unnecessary pipeline.

“The voice of the people has been lost at the Department of State—farmers and ranchers who stand to lose their livelihood to spills, the millions who depend on clean water, and thousands whose clean air will be imperiled by the influx of up to 900,000 barrels a day of the dirtiest oil on the planet. Americans deserve better.

“We thank and stand behind these members of Congress who are willing to stand up and demand accountability on this botched job by the Department of State.”

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