Green group: Most pro-Keystone comments came from industry

Most of the public comments filed with the State Department in support of the Keystone XL pipeline were from oil or pipeline industry insiders, according to the environmental advocacy group 350MA.

Volunteers took a random sample of 1,000 comments and found that approximately 60 percent were from oil and pipeline company employees, lobbyists or others in the related industries, InsideClimate News reported Monday.

Terry Friedrichs, a volunteer with the Massachusetts-based group who led the effort, said that the analysis “raises a red flag.”

Comments were due March 7 to the State Department, which is charged with making a final recommendation to the White House on construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which is meant to take heavy crude oil from Canada’s tar sands to the Gulf Coast. State received about 3 million comments.

Friedrichs said everyone has a right to comment but should be required to disclose financial interests in the project.

The Washington Post reported March 12 that almost half of the 2 million comments from Keystone XL opponents came from outside the United States, citing another advocacy group’s analysis.