The Texas Drought Project Newsletter

The Texas Drought Project Newsletter
Cronyism, Corruption, and Conflicts of Interest:
The Keystone XL Pipeline Fight
October 17th, 2011
Ten days ago, the director of the Texas Drought Project attended the Washington DC townhall, the final public hearing, for the Keystone XL Pipeline. In the previous week, hearings were conducted in Port Arthur and Austin. Hundreds of environmentalists and concerned citizens lined up to testify, but only a few were given time, largely because of the pro-pipeline speakers who were paid to appear, bussed in, and provided with early numbers in line. Even more disturbing, the State Department, which was tasked by law with conducting these hearings, assigned most of its authority to a subcontractor picked by Transcanada, the company which will build and profit from the pipeline. This company, CARDNO-ENTRIX of Houston, maintained the comment website, collected written and emailed comments, and provided all personnel for the local hearings, save one–a representative of the State Department named Maryruth Coleman, whose sole function seemed to be to say “thank you very much,” to those testifying. Her appearance can largely be described as symbolic. And as we learned more detail, the picture became even murkier; CARDNO-ENTRIX also conducted the Federal Environmental Impact Statement, which is lacking in the most basic of information–it misstates water resources for some Texas cities, and it ignores Texas’ history of drought and wildfire. Climate Change is not in the mix.

Today we bring you several articles on these developments, together with a final plea to call the White House and leave a comment for the President, because only he can approve or deny this permit. As Dr. James Hansen has said again and again, if this pipeline is approved, it is GAME OVER for climate change; we will not be able to mitigate its force and our children will suffer the consequences. That’s what drove hundreds of Americans to protest in front of the White House and get arrested for doing so–that’s what sent our organization to Washington DC–and that’s what caused one Texan, an ardent supporter of ours, to stand up and protest at the hearing in Austin, and find himself under arrest; we all know that it’s now, or never–we must act! There will be protests upcoming, in both Austin and Washington DC, in November–and more details are to come, but most importantly, please call the White House Comment line: 202-456-1111

We begin with a comprehensive piece by Naomi Klein, and our advisory board member, the founder of 350.org, Bill McKibben. They tell the complete story of what should be labeled the “CARDNO-ENTRIX scandal.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/10/08/keystone-pipeline-and-obama-s-next-cronyism-scandal.html

Powerful voices dominate final hearing:
An eyewitness look at the Keystone Pipeline XL townhall in Washington DC

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/lizbb/powerful_voices_along_the_keys.html

Transcanada Pipeline Lobbyist Works All the Angles
Documents reveal cozy relationship
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/transcanada-pipeline-lobbyist-works-all-the-angles-with-former-colleagues/2011/09/16/gIQAYq3BnK_story.html

Watch the Washington DC hearing in its entirety here:
http://www.c-span.org/Events/State-Department-Hears-Public-Comment-on-Canada-US-Oil-Pipeline/10737424635-1/

And, in closing, please read this commentary, also by Bill McKibben:

Obama and the Corruption of Big Oil
http://www.tomdispatch.com/archive/175452/

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