By Stacy Feldman, InsideClimate News
In recent months Koch Industries Inc., the business conglomerate run by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, has repeatedly told a U.S. Congressional committee and the news media that the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline has “nothing to do with any of our businesses.”
But the company has told Canadian energy regulators a different story.
State Department Considered 2-Year Keystone Pipeline Delay—Briefly
Did TransCanada’s well-connected lobbyist help scuttle the idea?
By David Sassoon, InsideClimate News
In June of 2010, in the midst of the BP Gulf oil disaster, someone deep in the bowels of the U.S. State Department was considering a two-year delay in the Keystone XL pipeline project, according to documents released last week. Public concerns about the oil industry were peaking, and the $7 billion Canada-to-Texas oil sands pipeline, which had looked like a shoo-in at the beginning of 2010, was getting a closer look.
At one point, the State Department even asked a lawyer for TransCanada, the Alberta-based company that was trying to get a federal permit to build the pipeline, to provide an assessment of how such a delay would impact the company.
What happened to that request—or to the idea of possibly delaying federal approval of the pipeline—remains a mystery, crucial to understanding the decision-making process behind one of the biggest energy projects pending before the Obama administration. The pipeline would allow an enormous supply of a particularly dirty form of oil, locked up in Alberta’s tar sands, to reach refineries in the Gulf of Mexico and markets around the world.