Energy company TransCanada is “illegally” moving forward on its tar sands Keystone XL project, even though the Obama Administration has yet announce whether or not it will approve or deny the pipeline, a new lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Western Nebraska Resources Council and Friends of the Earth alleges.
TransCanada has begun preparations for the tar sands pipeline—going so far as to clear a 100-mile corridor through Nebraska—even though a federal law prohibits the launch of projects until approval is received.
Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica alluded to the unusually cozy relationship between the State Department and TransCanada in a statement on the lawsuit. “The State Department has further confirmed that it is running a corrupt review process by giving TransCanada a green light to begin construction,” Pica said. “It makes a mockery of the public and sends a message to Nebraska that their concerns don’t matter. If the State Department was truly doing its job, this lawsuit wouldn’t be necessary.”
The State Department’s review process has been called into significant question, after it was revealed that former staff to State Secretary Hillary Clinton lobbied the agency on behalf of TransCanada and after emails surfaced in which a state official cheered, coached, and congratulated a Keystone lobbyist throughout the process.