Evidence is mounting of a real corruption scandal at the State Department. Emails uncovered by Friends of the Earth reveal State Department employees in a cozy relationship with Paul Elliot, a leader on Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign turned head lobbyist for Keystone XL – offering personal favors, praise, advice, and generally cheerleading the project while it was under review. Some of the messages are just damning. Here are some quotes: “It’s precisely because you have connections that you’re sought after and hired,” offered as praise for Elliot’s work “Go Paul!,” after he won support for the project from a Senator. This goes on for pages, filled with special invitations to meetings with State Department officials and even emoticons. It’s a window into a corrupt process facilitated by Elliot’s inside connections and oil industry money. (Click here for early coverage at MotherJones) In 2008, Barack Obama said that he would clean up Washington and end the tyranny of oil. To keep both of those promises, he needs to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Anything less would signal that money will still buy the oil industry influence in his Administration. November 6th the Tar Sands Action will be back in Washington to surround the White House and remind the President of his promises. In the mean time, we need to keep the pressure on. Can you send a message to President Obama telling him that you expect him to stand up to big oil corruption and reject Keystone XL? Click here to send a message to President Obama. The emails released today are a smoking gun that show how oil industry lobbying money has corrupted the State Department’s review of Keystone XL. They come out just after it was revealed that the State Department relied on a major TransCanada contractor to conduct its environmental review and public hearings on Keystone XL, and Wikileaks cables showed that other officials at the department gave the company tips on how to get the pipeline approved. If we expect the President to live up to his promises, we need to remind him that we’re paying attention. The more people he hears from, the harder it will be for him to abandon his campaign promises and approve the pipeline. Here’s the link to send a message to the President. I expect that we haven’t heard the last of this story – and the President definitely hasn’t heard the last from us. Thanks for being a part of this crucial effort.
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