Keystone Allegations Cleared

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Updated: Wed, 26 Feb 2014 10:46:01 MST

The State Department was cleared February 26 of violating conflict-of-interest procedures with the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Environmental groups had an uproar about the selection process for hiring a contractor to analyze the pipeline.
Environmental Resources Management was the contractor chosen for the pipeline analysis. Environmentalists caused the inspector general to launch the investigation after complaining about the lack of transparency from the company. They accused Environmental Resources Management of having ties with industries that would benefit from the pipeline.
Anti-Keystone activists believe the pipeline is a threat to the earth’s climate.
After review, the inspector general’s office confirmed that the department followed the its vetting procedure and said that the process was effective in determining if there was a conflict of interest.

However, the report also said that there was room for improvement in documentation processes, as well as public disclosures about reviews.
Within these next few months, Obama expects to make a decision either favoring or opposing the pipeline.

In the meantime, Secretary of State John Kerry has been asked to carry on a “study on the human health impacts of tar sands and the proposed pipeline.”
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