Committee Leaders Press EPA on Keystone Conflict

January 29, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) today sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy seeking information and documents relating to the agency’s communications with environmental organizations regarding the Keystone XL pipeline approval process. Recent press reports point to emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act indicating communications between agency officials and the Sierra Club related to the group’s opposition to the project. Committee leaders are concerned with the administration's excessive delays of the landmark energy and jobs project.

In the letter to Administrator McCarthy, the leaders write, “While communication with outside parties should be encouraged to ensure EPA officials have maximum information for policy decisions, we want to be sure those officials do not inappropriately share non-public planning and deliberative documents in a manner that undermines trust in the agency’s process.”

The committee leaders are asking EPA to provide documents related to such communications, including any internal drafts or analyses related to the pipeline shared with outside organizations and any tactical or strategic guidance concerning Keystone XL’s approval process provided to groups opposing the project. The leaders requested a response by February 12, 2014.

In addition to Upton and Murphy, full committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Vice Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) also signed the letter.

To read the full letter, click HERE