For Immediate Release
New Ads in Nebraska Accuse State Department of Inappropriately Cozy Relationship with TransCanada Lobbyist
Online ads direct Nebraskans to recent news articles about improper communication between TransCanada and the State Department
WASHINGTON - A series of online ads are educating Nebraskans about the cozy relationship between a TransCanada lobbyist and State Department officials. The ads relate to recent documents released by Friends of the Earth under the Freedom of Information Act, which reveal that the State Department has coached and advised TransCanada on how to respond to the Agency’s own Environmental Impact Statement.
The online ads, which began running yesterday in Nebraska, are intended to increase awareness about evidence of State Department employees’ bias toward TransCanada as State considers the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. The ads link to articles written recently in the Washington Post and InsideClimate News. Those articles have been echoed by stories from other news outlets, including the Omaha World-Herald and the Lincoln Journal Star.
The ads appear as the State Department hosts hearings in Nebraska and other states the pipeline would cross to determine whether TransCanada’s major pipeline project is in the national interest.
“These ads are aimed at providing information to Nebraskans who want to find out more about the oily lobbying that surrounds the Keystone XL pipeline,” said Damon Moglen, director of Friends of the Earth’s climate and energy program. “As each day passes, we discover more details about the State Department’s bias towards and complicity with TransCanada. It’s important for the public to be armed with this information as the approval process advances and their input is sought.”
Nebraska’s governor and U.S. senators have already raised concerns about the proposed pipeline crossing the environmentally fragile Sand Hills region and endangering the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides water to millions of people in the Midwest. The revelation about the cozy relationship between the State Department and TransCanada lobbyist puts increased pressure on the State Department and will create all the more momentum for a special session of the Nebraska legislature to address the controversial pipeline. The hearings will continue all week.
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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.