Thursday, October 27, 2011

13 congressman want investigation of State Dept. handling of TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline — not one is from Nebraska

Pit mines, tailings ponds and haul roads of tar sands mining site Fort McMurray, Alberta.
Photo: Mary Kavanaugh, University of Lethbridge
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TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline will almost certainly leak poisonous chemicals into the huge Nebraska part of the Ogallala Aquifer (Keystone 1 has leaked more than a dozen times in its first year.)
    Yet, not a single Nebraska senator or representative is curious enough about documented State Department skullduggery, corporate collusion and whitewashed environmental "studies" to sign the letter Bernie Sanders of Vermont and 13 other congressmen have sent to the State Department Inspector General.

     AKSARBENT wonders why the senator from Vermont is doing a better job of looking after the interests of Nebraska landowners than Adrian Smith. Or Jeff Fortenberry. Or Lee Terry. Or Mike Johanns. Or Ben Nelson.
    Below are questions your Nebraska congressional representative apparently isn't asking. Why not click on his name, above, and call to ask why he too isn't asking for an investigation of the State Department's outrageous behavior? Don't send an email. Congress gets millions and even the staff can't begin to read them all. Phone tip: be polite, but firm.
  • Did TransCanada improperly influence the State Department’s selection of a contractor for the EIS?
  • Did the State Department and all parties fully comply with the letter and spirit of all federal disclosure laws and regulations in regards to the Keystone XL pipeline project?
  • Is Cardno Entrix’s contract for the EIS and Keystone XL pipeline analysis with the State Department or with TransCanada, and has this contract been publicly disclosed?
  • Does Cardno Entrix have a contract or agreement with TransCanada wherein Cardno Entrix would provide services, such as spill response, for the Keystone XL pipeline if it is approved?
  • What is the nature and extent of any other contractual or financial relationship between Cardno Entrix and TransCanada?
  • Did the State Department’s Final EIS fully incorporate the views and concerns of federal agencies with expertise, such as EPA, in relation to central questions of alternatives and mitigation, pipeline safety, and environmental risks from this project, including:
  • fully considering whether the oil from Keystone XL will stay in the United States or be exported,
  • evaluating a tar sands oil spill in the Kalamazoo river with a cleanup cost that has increased from $430 million in 2010 to $700 million today,
  • assessing the exacerbation of climate change due to increased greenhouse gas emissions from increased exploitation of tar sands oil?
  • Were there any communications between State Department officials and TransCanada, the Canadian government, or proponents of the pipeline, which were in any way improper or which indicate any deviation from the State Department’s obligations under federal law to provide objective analysis of the project and its potential risks?
  • Did the State Department or any of its officials or employees, past or current, improperly disclose any materials or information to TransCanada, the Canadian government, or proponents of the pipeline?
  • Have all requests for materials related to the Keystone XL pipeline under the Freedom of Information Act been timely fulfilled so that the public has access to all the necessary documents and materials related to this project?
  • Did the State Department violate its role as an unbiased oversight agency by advising TransCanada to withdraw their permit request to operate the pipeline at higher pressures with the reassurance that TransCanada could apply for the permit at a later date through a less scrutinized and less transparent process? [Thank you WikiLeaks! Free Bradley Manning!]

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