IER files FOIA request to uncover truth about administration’s politicized decision to delay Keystone XL pipeline


November 18, 2011
Contact: Benjamin Cole
Director of Communications
(202) 621-2957

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Institute for Energy Research (IER) filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request with the State Department on Friday, seeking the truth behind the Obama administration’s decision to delay a final determination about the Keystone XL pipeline until after the 2012 election cycle.

“The delay is curious given the President’s supposed belief in building infrastructure projects to spur economic growth and his desire to create jobs,” wrote Dan Simmons, IER’s director of state and regulatory affairs.  Citing the White House’s stated commitment to be “the most open and transparent” administration in history, IER has requested copies of all communications and correspondence regarding the Keystone XL pipeline between the State Department and:

  • The Executive Office of the President
  • The Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Senator Mike Johanns and his staff
  • U.S. Senator Ben Nelson and his staff
  • Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman and his staff
  • Bold Nebraska
  • The League of Conservation Voters
  • The Natural Resources Defense Council
  • The Sierra Club

IER President Tom Pyle is disturbed that the administration’s decision appears to have been guided by election year politics rather than strategic policy to promote American energy security and economic recovery.

“There is growing evidence that this administration cares more about satisfying environmental extremists ahead of the president’s re-election bid than it does creating jobs.  Since taking office, the president has effectively killed offshore energy exploration and sent thousands of workers in the Gulf Coast community to the unemployment lines.  Now the administration is trying to kill a pipeline that could create tens of thousands of jobs and provide access to as much as 800,000 barrels of Canadian oil for U.S. markets.  The message of this administration is increasingly clear:  reliable sources of carbon-based energy will face bureaucratic delays while bankrupt solar companies like Solyndra will receive preferential treatment and hundreds of millions of dollar in loans,” Pyle noted.

The FOIA request is narrowed to include only communication and correspondence between July 14, 2011 and November 14, 2011, and seeks administration compliance within twenty working days of receipt by the State Department.

IER is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research an analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets.  As a non-partisan public foundation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, IER is funded entirely by tax-deductible contributions and does not receive any government support.


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