Image: Ray Bodden via flickr
It's already been a bad week for the Keystone XL pipeline, but the story continues to unfold: turns out the cozy relationship between the State Department and TransCanada extends beyond the one lobbyist known to be a former campaign staffer with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Researchers at the DeSmogBlog have found that several other lobbyists for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline have close ties to Clinton, and one is known as the "unsung hero" of Obama's successful presidential campaign."Lobbyists with strong ties to Secretary Clinton are spread out over three firms, including one that was the largest single source of funds of any corporate entity to Clinton's 2008 presidential run," DeSmogBlog Executive Director Brendan DeMelle wrote in a memo.
Friends of the Earth explains more:
One of the lobbyists named on the FOIA, Maryscott "Scotty" Greenwood, has a reputation for being able to get Secretary of State Clinton on the phone. Two of the lobbyists, Gordon Giffin with McKenna, Long & Aldridge and James Blanchard with DLA PIPER, were fundraising bundlers for Hillary Clinton's presidential bid. DLA PIPER was also the largest single corporate source of employee and PAC contributions to Hillary Clinton's campaign. The campaign connections extend to President Obama. Jeff Berman, a lobbyist listed on Bryan Cave's Keystone XL lobbying account, was director of delegate selection in Obama's primary campaign and was called the "unsung hero" of his victory.
More again from DeMelle:
The presence of so many former Clinton associates on the lobbying roster for polluter clients on a high-profile controversy suggests a clash with the repeated campaign pledges of greater transparency and tougher dealings with lobbyists by Secretary Clinton's boss, President Obama.
Friends of the Earth is now expanding its FOIA request for correspondence between State Department officials and other pipeline lobbyists.
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More on the Keystone XL pipeline:
Environmental Groups Sue U.S. Government to Stop Keystone XL
State Dept. Documents Show Agency Advised TransCanada on Keystone XL Review Process
Keystone XL Pipeline Won't 'Play Any Substantial Role' In Putting Americans Back To Work: Cornell Univ. Study
Another Day, Another Spill: TransCanada Shuts Down Keystone Pipeline