09 Oct '11, 3am

[email protected] Blows Lid Off State Department's Outsourcing of Keystone XL Environmental Review

The department allowed TransCanada, the company seeking permission to build the 1,700-mile pipeline from the oil sands of northern Alberta to the Gulf Coast in Texas, to solicit and screen bids for the environmental study. At TransCanada's recommendation, the department hired Cardno Entrix, an environmental contractor based in Houston, even though it had previously worked on projects with TransCanada and describes the pipeline company as a "major client" in its marketing materials. While it is common for federal agencies to farm out environmental impact studies, legal experts said they were surprised the State Department was not more circumspect about the potential for real and perceived conflicts of interest on such a large and controversial project. John D. Echeverria, an expert on environmental law, referred to the process as "outsourcing government responsibility." The...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/10/new-york-times-en...

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