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'Keystone Clones' Animation Mocks Dirty Tar Sands Cronies

Energy

DeSmogBlog

By Steve Horn

Mark Fiore—the Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist satirist—has a new video out that in two-minutes pokes fun at the perverse conflicts of interest that have prevailed throughout debate over the prospective Keystone XL northern half.

It's these conflicts of interest that DeSmogBlog has focused on in the past several months since the March 2013 release of the sham U.S. State Department Keystone XL environmental review. Some of the conflicts of interest covered in Fiore's 2-minute video titled "Keystone Clones" now up on Moyers and Company's website include the following controversies.

Anita Dunn/Robert Bauer Scandal

Described as a "Power Couple" by Newsweek, Anita Dunn is President Barack Obama's former communications director and was a top-level communications advisor for Obama's 2008 run for president and Secretary of State John Kerry's 2004 run for president. Through her PR firm SKDKnickerbocker, she does communications work for TransCanada, owner of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Her husband Robert "Bob" Bauer is Obama's personal attorney, former White House Counsel under Obama, and served as the election law attorney for Kerry in 2004 and Obama in 2008 and 2012. Infamous in election law reform circles for his attempts to bend election law in such a way as to flood the electoral system with more money, Bauer's law firm Perkins Coie also has an attorney-client relationship with TransCanada.

ERM Group Scandals

Obama's State Department chose a Big Oil-connected contractor named Environmental Resources Management, Inc. (ERM Group) to do the environmental review for Keystone XL's northern half. ERM—which historically also did contract work for Big Tobacco—has rubber-stamped ecologically hazardous projects in the Caspian Sea-area, Peru, Delaware and now the Keystone XL.

Given this shady track record, it's unsurprising it also said the pipeline's northern half—if built—would have negligible climate change impacts. 

"Keystone Clones"

Fiore also explains the "other ways to skin the cat" and get tar sands to Gulf Coast export markets via pipeline—what he coins as the "Keystone Clones." In the main, he focuses on Enbridge's Flanagan South Pipeline, which requires little review and oversight because it's not a border-crossing pipeline like Keystone XL's northern half.

Running from Missouri to Cushing, OK and then to the Gulf, little has been said about this "Keystone Clone." Fiore busts the conversation on this pipeline—or rather, lack thereof—wide open.

Check out Fiore's short video—which draws heavily upon DeSmogBlog's reporting for its "News Behind the Toons"—and pass it along to your friends. And stay tuned for DeSmogBlog's continuing coverage both of the "Keystone Kops" and of "Keystone Clones," as well.

Visit EcoWatch’s KEYSTONE XL and TAR SANDS pages for more related news on this topic.

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