House GOP probes Obama’s Keystone XL decision

The House Oversight Committee is investigating the Obama administration’s ongoing process to review the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Committee Chairman Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzIRS chief blasts impeachment push in Chaffetz's home state Overnight Energy: Volkswagen faces another emissions lawsuit Fast and Furious: Are you listening Congress? MORE (R-Utah) asked Secretary of State John Kerry Tuesday to send him everything the State Department received from other federal agencies for its ongoing determination of whether Keystone is in the United States’ “national interest.”

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State asked eight agencies to weigh in on the national interest determination, as required under a 2004 executive order. But only the Defense Department has publicly released what it told State, which was that it had “no objection” to the Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline.

“Please produce all reports, recommendations, letters, and comments received by the State Department from the advising agencies pursuant to Executive Order 13337 regarding the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline,” Chaffetz wrote in a letter along with Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), chairwoman of the Oversight subcommittee with jurisdiction over environmental and energy policy.

Chaffetz sent his letter the same day President Obama vetoed a bill that would have forced approval of the pipeline. Obama said that the bill “attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest.”

But that process has taken more than six years, frustrating Republicans and pipeline’s proponents.

Apart from the Defense Department, State asked for input from the Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Justice, Commerce, Interior, Transportation, Energy and Homeland Security.

Kerry will use those comments, which were due Feb. 2, to write a recommendation to Obama about whether or not to approve Keystone. Obama will then decide.