The US State Dept. has outsourced much of its responsibility for determining whether to give approval to the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline to TransCanada consultant Cardno-ENTRIX, including :
1) the State Dept.'s TransCanada KeystoneXL webpage - see the tiny print at the bottom ,
2) two Environmental Impact Statements(EIS) and Presidential Permits for international border crossing (Great commentary and an explanation on how EIS work from Scarecrow at FireDogLake), and
3) the public hearings held in the states along the length of the proposed pipeline - Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas - with a final one in Washington DC on October 9.
Should you wish to send your opinion of the pipeline proposal directly to the US State Dept, Cardno-ENTRIX handles that too.
The US State Dept has inserted a corporation between itself and the people it was elected to serve.
Excellent article and new information on this extraordinary conflict of interest from Brad Johnson at Think Progress yesterday, with thanks to his link to a Creekside post back in July , where we noted :
Cardno-ENTRIX explains on their website :
Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Project EISand again in a Cardno Mergers Presentation :
Client : TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. (Keystone)
"TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. (Keystone) has applied to the U.S. Department of State (DOS) for a Presidential Permit ....
Keystone contracted with Cardno ENTRIX as the third-party contractor to assist DOS in preparing the EIS and to conduct the Section 106 consultation process."
Keystone and Keystone XL Pipelines
Client : US Department of State and TransCanada
ENTRIX is the prime contractor for the preparation of two third party EIS’s for the US Department of State and TransCanada Keystone Crude Oil Pipeline System.The project features 1,702 miles of new 36-inch diameter pipeline (327 miles in Canada and 1,375 miles in U.S.) with capacity for 900,000 barrels per day.So how did those Cardno-ENTRIX public pipeline hearings go?
People arriving 45 minutes early to the Port Arthur, Texas hearing found "hundreds" of people already there in t-shirts which read BUILD KEYSTONE XL NOW! GOOD JOBS! U.S. SECURITY!
"Once we were allowed to sign up to speak (at a table staffed by Cardno Entrix, according to their name tags) we entered the room to find the first 8-10 rows, (left side:suits, right side: oil field workers), filled by these individuals and their slogans."By the time people in opposition got their turn, it was getting late and their time to speak was cut back.
But at least they didn't get arrested for it.
Austin, Texas :
"According to Karen Hadden, the Executive Director of the Sustainable and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition, “This was not a hearing, this was a farce.” Ms. Hadden arrived and had been waiting for a couple of hours to give comments when they cut the hearing off. Later, when she was attempting to find out what her options were for providing comments to the State Department given she was unable to do so at the hearing, she was told she must leave the premises or she would be arrested."Ms Hadden provides a photo of someone else being arrested for 'expressing concerns about the flawed process'.
The public hearings along the pipeline route are now over.
There's been no media interest so far up here in Canada that TransCanada and the US State Dept have apparently shared the use of a "professional environmental consulting company" in the almost certain future approval of the KeystoneXL pipeline.
Must be part of that "Shaping the Future" thing.