Friday, 24 February 2012

Update on Tar Sands Keystone XL Pipeline

There has been a new development in the Keystone XL pipeline development. The group EarthJustice reports that a Freedom of Information Act request is the basis of a legal action filed against the United States Department of State.

The complaint, filed on 23 February 2012, alleges that the Department of State has not complied with a Freedom of Information Act request that was sent to the Department.

The complaint alleges that"Friends of the Earth sought information related to communications between the State Department and lobbyists or other individuals from McKenna Long & Aldridge; Bryan Cave LLP; DLA Piper; and TransCanada Pipelines relating to the Keystone XL tar sands crude oil pipeline."

The press release from EarthJustice comments that "The State Department must not hide documents from the public that could shed further light on serious problems in the initial review of the Keystone XL pipeline—problems that contributed to the biased and incomplete environmental review of the pipeline the first time around.”

In the meantime, there is the possibility of a Senate vote on legislation that would approve the construction of the pipeline. Given the environmental and health concerns raised about this pipeline from a number of groups, and the political games which apparently accompany efforts to force it through the House and Senate, questions are raised about the motivations and the tactics being employed. The concerns abotu the pipeline are serious. Should those not be addressed in full before any further voting takes place? Further voting is irresponsible in the extreme until the health and environmental concerns receive a full and frank review and airing, rather than being swept under a huge political rug.

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