Skip to main content

TransCanada, the multinational corporation hoping to build the controversial northern half of the Keystone XL pipeline, spent over $280,000 on lobbying the U.S. government in the first quarter (Q1) of 2013, according to lobbying disclosure records.

In addition to the $250,000 paid to Paul Elliott - TransCanada’s infamous in-house lobbyist and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s national deputy campaign manager during her 2008 run for president – three outside firms lobbied on TransCanada’s behalf to promote KXL.

The outside firms: Bryan Cave LLP, which reported $20,000 in earnings from TransCanda in Q1; McKenna, Long & Aldridge, which was paid $10,000 by TransCanada during Q1; and Van Ness Feldman, which TransCanada paid an amount under $5,000, falling under the mandatory reporting ceiling.

$280,000 is a tiny drop in the bucket compared to TransCanada’s $446 million first quarter profits.

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

TransCanada, the multinational corporation hoping to build the controversial northern half of the Keystone XL pipeline, spent over $280,000 on lobbying the U.S. government in the first quarter (Q1) of 2013, according to lobbying disclosure records.

In addition to the $250,000 paid to Paul Elliott - TransCanada's infamous in-house lobbyist and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's national deputy campaign manager during her 2008 run for president - three outside firms lobbied on TransCanada's behalf to promote KXL.

The outside firms: Bryan Cave LLP, which reported $20,000 in earnings from TransCanda in Q1; McKenna, Long & Aldridge, which was paid $10,000 by TransCanada during Q1; and Van Ness Feldman, which TransCanada paid an amount under $5,000, falling under the mandatory reporting ceiling.

$280,000 is a tiny drop in the bucket compared to TransCanada's $446 million first quarter profits.

The southern half of Keystone XL is currently under construction due to a March 2012 Obama Adminstration Executive Order. The northern half is still in the proposal phase. It would carry Alberta tar sands dilbit to the Gulf Coast refineries in Port Arthur, Texas, where much of it would be exported to the global market.

As seen in an earlier investigation conducted by DeSmogBlog, many of TransCanada's lobbyists for KXL have direct ties to the Obama administration. The U.S. State Department has been tasked with the final decision on the pipeline's cross-border northern section, a risky conduit between the carbon intensive Alberta tar sands and further global climate disruption.

Bryan Cave

The two Bryan Cave lobbyists on the KXL file are Brandon Pollak and David Russell. Pollak formerly served as Deputy National Director of Grassroots Fundraising for John Kerry's 2004 run for President. Kerry now serves as the head of the U.S. Department of State, the body assigned to make the final call on KXL.

Bryan Cave signed termination papers with TransCanada on April 26 and will no longer be lobbying on behalf of KXL beyond the recently-ended quarter.

"Professionals from Bryan Cave were engaged for a period of time, but we recently determined that we did not need the same level of support from them," TransCanada Shawn Howard said of the termination decision. "As a result, they updated their disclosure of clients and activities, in keeping with U.S. rules and regulations."

McKenna, Long & Aldridge

The two hired guns tasked to lobby on behalf of KXL and CAPP at McKenna are Alex McGee and Andrew Shaw.

Alex McGee formerly served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and liaison to Congress on behalf of Secretary of Energy under President George W. Bush, Spencer Abraham. His biography on the McKenna website explains that "McGee was also a strategic player in the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005," a bill that made the chemicals found within hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") fluid a "trade secret" and made exemptions to the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act for fracking via the "Halliburton Loophole." He also worked on the Bush-Cheney 2000 Presidential Campaign and staffed Bush's Presidential Inauguration Committee.

Andrew Shaw also passed through the revolving door as a paralegal at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under both President Obama and former President George W. Bush.  

McKenna, Long & Aldridge also lobbies for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), describing its duty on the disclosure form as lobbyists on "U.S. energy or environmental legislation or policies with implications in regard to oil sands production and development in Canada."

Van Ness Feldman

Van Ness Feldman KXL lobbyists include J. Curtis Moffatt, Tom Roberts,Jonathan Simon and Lisa Epifani.

In Q3 and Q4 of 2012, Moffatt also lobbied on behalf of pipeline giant Kinder Morgan. Roberts served as Legislative Director of the EPA under former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton from 1990-1995, getting his gig at Van Ness in 1998. He joined Moffatt in lobbying on behalf of Kinder Morgan in Q3 and Q4 of 2012.

Epifani formerly worked alongside McKenna's McGee as a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs for the DOE under President George W. Bush, also serving as his Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy for the White House Economic Council before that. She joined Moffatt and Roberts in lobbying for Kinder Morgan in Q3 and Q4.

"Keystone Kops"

The revolving door between the agencies designated to make a good-faith science-based policy decision on the merits of the northern half of the KXL and the firms lobbying on behalf of TransCanada spins with rapidity.

"Keystone Kops" were fictional incompetent and corrupt policemen featured in silent film comedies in the early 20th century. As demonstrated over and over again by the Obama Administration's "State Department Oil Services" - aka the "police" asssigned to make a decision on the pipeline's future - the decision over Keystone XL seems merely a 21st Century version of these legendary silent films.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I am shocked they are spending so little on (0+ / 0-)

    lobbying.

    In theory the final approval/disapproval decision is to be made this year.  The stakes are very high not just for Keystone XL but other pipelines TransCanada may want to build.  The lobbying needs to be done before the decision, as turning the discussion around if it is against Keystone XL will be very difficult.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Thu May 02, 2013 at 09:48:25 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site