TransCanada Pipeline Lobbyist Works Angles With Former Colleagues

"In lobbying for a presidential permit to construct a massive oil pipeline stretching from Canada to the Gulf Coast, TransCanada’s Paul Elliott has tried nearly every angle.

Elliott — who served as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s national deputy campaign manager in 2008 — sought to broker multiple meetings between senior State Department officials and TransCanada executives. He offered to enlist Trans­Canada officials’ aid in helping State officials forge an international climate agreement. And he deluged administration officials with letters testifying to the virtues of the Keystone XL expansion project, which would ship crude oil from Canada’s oil sands region to American refiners.

The State Department, which completed its environmental assessment of the project last month, has indicated that it will decide later this year whether to allow the company to construct the 1,700-mile pipeline. across the U.S.-Canada border.

More than two dozen State Department e-mails obtained by the advocacy group Friends of the Earth under a Freedom of Information Act request provide an unusual glimpse into the lobbying for the Keystone permit, which has become a battleground in the national debate over how to address climate change.

They show how Elliott tried to exploit relationships built in political campaigns, with mixed results. The e-mails are almost all between Elliott and a special assistant to Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff. All three knew one another from working on Clinton’s presidential campaign."

Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson report for the Washington Post September 22, 2011.

SEE ALSO:

"Internal State Department documents raise concerns, new questions" (Friends of the Earth)

"The Revolving Door, Keystone XL Edition" (Mother Jones)

Friday, September 23, 2011