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State Dept Inspector General Finds No Conflicts of Interest in Keystone XL Contractor Selection

Department of the statesAn inspector general’s report has concluded that the State Department followed prescribed guidelines when it picked a contractor to perform an environmental study on TransCanada‘s Keystone XL pipeline, Politico reported Wednesday.

Andrew Restuccia writes the State Department’s IG office launched an inquiry following allegations of conflict of interest involving Keystone research contractor Environmental Resources Management.

“The review found that our processes not only avoided conflicts of interest, but were more rigorous than required,” said State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, according to the report.

Psaki added the department supports “the recommendations in the OIG’s review that will contribute to improved guidelines, documentation and sharing of information.”

President Barack Obama is expected to hand down a decision on the Keystone project within the next few months, the publication reports.

“It’s long past time the president stop pandering to his extremist allies and just approve it so we can get people back to work,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner.

Restuccia writes lawmakers have called on Secretary of State John Kerry to launch a study to evaluate the oil pipeline’s potential impact on people’s health.

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