Audit clears State Department in Keystone XL review
The State Department's internal watchdog has cleared the agency of any impropriety in its review of a permit for a controversial pipeline that would carry Canadian oil across the continental United States.
In a report released to Congress on Thursday, the department's inspector general's office said it found no evidence that State Department employees were improperly influenced by proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline, including the applicant TransCanada.
Opponents of the pipeline, which was ultimately rejected, had alleged that TransCanada had an inappropriately cozy relationship with some State Department employees conducting the review. They suggested that this affected an environmental impact statement.
The report said the department incorporated relevant concerns from other federal agencies in the review but expressed concern that its limited resources and expertise impacted the process.