Pipeline lawsuit filed against State Department

By: Kelly Sommariva

The group is called Friends of the Earth, and they say recently released e-mails and documents reveal a shocking scandal. TransCanada, however, says they've done nothing wrong.

Friends of the Earth call it a “growing scandal” but TransCanada calls it “absurd” and “disappointing.” Back in May, the group filed suit against the State Department. A judge ordered them to release documents which include e-mails with TransCanada.

The documents show that there was a clear bias and complicity on part of Senior State Department Officials. Friends of the Earth says there's illegal activity in those documents that should disqualify them from making the pipeline decision and that President Obama should revoke their ability to do that and he should make the decision on whether the pipeline can be built.

Damon Moglen, with Friends of the Earth, said, “It becomes even clearer from these now released documents that State Department officials were really involved in coaching and facilitating the granting of this permit rather than regulating and assuring the protection of the environment and public health.”

Friends of the Earth accuse one TransCanada member of lobbying illegally. They also say he was a former aid in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign. But TransCanada says they've done nothing illegal and call F.O.E's tactics disappointing.

In a statement, TransCanada says, “It's absurd to suggest that any one person might influence a process that includes the involvement of areas of Government. Mr. Elliot was and is simply doing his job, no laws have been broken.”

TransCanada also challenged Friends of the Earth to release their e-mails sent to Federal Officials. Friends of the Earth and other anti-pipeline groups will be holding a press conference tomorrow in Omaha. They'll be announcing new legal action against the pipeline to block it's construction.