Keystone pipeline builder signs lobbyist

Keystone pipeline builder signs lobbyist
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The company hoping to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline has signed on a lobbying firm to push for the project.

CGCN Group, a Republican firm, filed paperwork with Congress on Wednesday to disclose that it is lobbying on behalf of TransCanada Corp. to secure Trump administration approval for Keystone.

The lobbying firm is also advocating on natural gas policies and legislation regarding natural gas transmission, both across the Canadian border and domestically. Gas is a major part of TransCanada’s business.

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The disclosure came weeks after President Trump issued a memorandum directing the State Department to determine within 60 days whether to give Keystone the cross-border permit required for its construction.

The project faces significant opposition from environmentalists and Democrats, who say that the oil it would carry from Alberta, Canada, to Texas refineries would be disastrous for the environment and the climate.

Meanwhile, congressional Republicans are aiming to make the approval process easier for oil and natural gas pipelines, as well as other energy infrastructure. The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on energy infrastructure Wednesday and has previously passed legislation to streamline approvals.

Jay Cranford, a partner at CGCN, is the sole lobbyist working for TransCanada on the contract, according to its disclosure. Cranford worked for former Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerJohn Feehery: A political forest fire Trump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery MORE (R-Ohio) from 2006 to 2011, and previously led the staff for a subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Cranford’s other lobbying clients include Halliburton Co., Hess Corp., Koch Industries and companies in finance, entertainment and manufacturing.

It is TransCanada’s first contract with an outside lobbying firm since 2014, disclosure records show. The company, based in Calgary, Canada, has one registered lobbyist on staff.

Cranford and TransCanada did not respond to requests for comment.