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State's IG and the Pipeline

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With President Obama facing a politically agonizing choice over whether to approve the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, the State Department's inspector general has agreed to a request from 14 lawmakers that his office probe the review process used at State to gauge the environmental impact of the project.

With environmental protesters in the streets hoping to block TransCanada's plan and energy interests pushing the project as a job creator, some have accused the State Department of relying on an analysis from a company with ties to TransCanada.

On Monday, State IG Harold Geisel sent a memo to Deputy Secretary William Burns saying his auditors would soon be interviewing officials to examine adherence to federal laws and regulations at State's Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs; its Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science; its Bureau of Western Hemispheric Affairs; and its Office of the Legal Adviser.

The memo was welcomed and posted on the website of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a pipeline opponent.

 

Charlie Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.

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