State Department Emails Reveal Cozy Relationship With TransCanada Lobbyist

Brendan DeMelle DeSmog
on

Friends of the Earth today released “deeply disturbing” emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request illustrating “pro-pipeline bias and complicity at the State Department‚” over the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

The 200 pages of new documents [PDF] show that TransCanada lobbyist Paul Elliott, who served as deputy national campaign director and chief of delegate selection to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, exchanged troubling emails with Marja Verloop, a State Department official who works on energy and environmental issues at the U.S. embassy in Ottawa.

In one email, Verloop offers comforting words to Elliott, assuring him that “at the end of the day it’s precisely because you have connections that you’re sought after and hired.” [PDF]

Friends of the Earth recently called for the Justice Department to investigate Paul Elliott, who appears to have lobbied the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline for more than a year without registering as a lobbyist.

Read some of the coverage of this latest development in the State Department’s strange handling of the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline permit request:

The New York Times:

TransCanada Pipeline Foes See U.S. Bias in E-Mails
by Elisabeth Rosenthal

Washington Post:

Keystone pipeline e-mails show friendly exchanges
by Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson

The Hill:

Green group says TransCanada, State Dept. emails show ‘pro-pipeline bias’

by Andrew Restuccia

Huffington Post:

Keystone Pipeline Lobbyist Had Cozy Relationship With State Department Staffers, New Emails Show
by Tom Zeller Jr.

Politico:

Enviros: TransCanada, State emails ‘cozy’
by Bob King

And if you haven’t seen it already, a message from Hillary Clinton’s State Department Oil Services…:
 

Brendan DeMelle DeSmog
Brendan is Executive Director of DeSmog. He is also a freelance writer and researcher specializing in media, politics, climate change and energy. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The Huffington Post, Grist, The Washington Times and other outlets.

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