The Obama White House announced that newly appointed Keystone XL opponent John Podesta would recuse himself from any decisions about the controversial pipeline. But documents have shown that ERM, the company that produced a favorable report on the pipeline for the State Department, had serious conflicts of interest, which were hidden by both ERM and the State Department.
"WASHINGTON -- On Tuesday, the White House appointed John Podesta, the former chief of staff for then-President Bill Clinton, as a special adviser to President Barack Obama. The New York Times reported that Podesta would 'focus in particular on climate change issues,' which the paper described as a 'personal priority' of his.
Podesta, the founder and chair of the Center for American Progress, also has been an outspoken opponent of the Keystone XL pipeline. 'I think he should not approve it,' he told the New Yorker earlier this year. 'I’m of the view that you just can’t meet the standard now that Obama set out: Does it or does it not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution? What are the net effects? And I think a fair review of that would say the net effects are big and they’re negative.'"