Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today called on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to explain her statement that the State Department is likely to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, as proposed, despite the analysis and review of public comments being incomplete. Her comments were made in response to a question asked after an address to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco on October 15, 2010.
Johanns sent Clinton a letter noting that her comments were premature and damaging to the integrity of the federal review process. The letter references Johanns' previous request that Clinton address deficiencies in the department's analysis of the proposed route, including the failure to consider potentially preferable alternative routes.
Johanns wrote, "While you acknowledged that you 'haven't finished all of the analysis' and your staff indicated they are still reviewing 'the thousands of comments we have received,' your comment that the State Department 'is inclined' to grant approval for the pipeline appears to prejudge the outcome as a foregone conclusion … a premature decision of this magnitude is unfortunate, especially in light of the significant concerns I outlined to you in a letter the previous day regarding the proposed pathway of this pipeline."
• A copy of the letter can be found below.
• A history of Sen. Johanns' efforts relating to the Keystone XL pipeline and a copy of his previous letter to Secretary Clinton can be found here.