The fight over TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline project doesn’t seem likely to end soon.
The pro-pipeline Institute for Energy Research has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents that could help determine if the Obama administration’s decision to deny a presidential permit for the project was political, E2Wire reports.
“After more than three years of study, the State Department failed to decide whether or not the pipeline was in the national interest. After Congress imposed a deadline to make a decision, President Obama rejected the pipeline application on Jan. 18, 2012, arguing that making a decision after more than three years of study was ‘rushed and arbitrary,’” wrote IER Director of Regulatory and State Affairs, Dan Simmons.
“One troubling aspect of the President’s decision is that it appears to have been influenced by political factors and not whether the pipeline is in the national interest.”
President Barack Obama rejected TransCanada’s bid for a permit on the transcontinental pipeline in January after Republicans imposed a deadline on the decision.
Environmental groups opposed to the Keystone XL project spent months poring through public records, looking to show an improper relationship between a lobbyist working for the pipeline company and the State Department.
The connection between lobbyist Paul Elliott and his former boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, may have helped derail the project.
The company has since announced plans to proceed with the pipeline between Cushing and refineries in the Houston area. TransCanada also intends to re-apply for a presidential permit for the full project.