Friday, March 22, 2013

State Dept. redacted author bios of Keystone XL pipeline environmental report to hide ties to Koch Industries, Shell, BP, ExonMobil, and ConocoPhillips

October 2011 chart via Friends of the Earth
A 2009 State Department cable exposed by Wikileaks revealed coaching by the U.S. State Department to help "oil sands messaging," including "increasing visibility and accessibility of more positive news stories."
     By October of 2011, the stench of collusion with pipeline promoters had become heavy enough to warrant a letter from 13 senators and congressman to the State Department's Inspector General. 
     Now we see, courtesy of Bold Nebraska, that Andy Kroll of Mother Jones has reported more State Department subterfuge:

     On the day the State Department published the Keystone impact report, the agency also released a cache of documents that ERM submitted in 2012 to win the contract to produce the Keystone environmental report. That cache included a 55-page filing in which ERM stated it had no conflicts of interests writing the Keystone report.
     But there was something strange about ERM's conflict-of-interest filing: The bios for the ERM's experts were redacted.
     Here's what those redactions kept secret: ERM's second-in-command on the Keystone report, Andrew Bielakowski, had worked on three previous pipeline projects for TransCanada over seven years as an outside consultant. He also consulted on projects for ExxonMobil, BP, and ConocoPhillips, three of the Big Five oil companies that could benefit from the Keystone XL project and increased extraction of heavy crude oil taken from the Canadian tar sands.
      Another ERM employee who contributed to State's Keystone report—and whose prior work history was also redacted—previously worked for Shell Oil; a third worked as a consultant for Koch Gateway Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of Koch Industries.

    You can see what the State Department hid here.

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