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Challenging The State Department’s Refusal To Disclose Tar Sands Communications

Tar sands in Alberta, Canada.

Tar sands in Alberta, Canada.

Photo by Dru Oja Jay / Domion

What’s at Stake

Earthjustice represented environmental and ethics groups in a lawsuit that sought and obtained communications between the State Department and industry lobbyists working on behalf of the Keystone XL pipeline and who have close connections to Hilary Clinton and other prominent politicians.


The Keystone XL pipeline is an impending environmental disaster: it would encourage use of some of the dirtiest fossil fuels on earth, incentivize the rampant destruction of Alberta’s boreal forests, and pose risks all along the pipeline’s multi-thousand mile route. The Keystone XL pipeline has become one of the most controversial environmental issues of our time.

As TransCanada Pipelines pushed for the approval of the Keystone XL project, the State Department refused to disclose communications between the agency and a number of lobbyists with close connections to Hilary Clinton and President Obama.

Earthjustice represented ethics and environmental groups in a lawsuit that sought and obtained access to these communications to help determine whether these relationships may unduly influence the decision of whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

Case ID



Case Updates

February 8, 2012 | Article

Times Columnist Spouts Keystone Nonsense

The New York Times describes Joe Nocera as a business columnist, but a quick scan of recent columns is very heavy on pieces about the woes of the NCAA, the National Collegiate Athletic Association. If today’s column is any indication, we’d all be better off if he stuck with sports.

October 6, 2011 | Article

Plot Thickens On Politics Of Keystone Pipeline XL

Documents released as a result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Earthjustice have uncovered strong ties between Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and the team of lobbyists hired to promote the pipeline’s approval at the State Department.