Most don’t consider hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) when pondering the way forward for TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands export pipeline — however they should.
There are numerous ties between key members of the fracking business and groups pushing for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. And these threads all lead back, a technique or one other, to Environmental Sources Management, Inc. (ERM Group).
ERM Group did the official U.S. State Department’s environmental overview for Keystone XL pipeline. The evaluation, revealed in March 2013, determined the pipeline could have negligible local weather change impacts (the assessment dealt with the northern segment of the pipeline as the southern half, now recognized because the “Gulf Coast Pipeline,” received an expedited Government Order permit by President Barack Obama in March 2012).
ERM can be a paying member of the American Petroleum Institute (API), which has spent over $22 million lobbying on Keystone XL since June 2008.
In its bid to provide the environmental evaluate for the Keystone XL pipeline, ERM overtly lied on its conflict-of-curiosity kind, saying it has no current enterprise ties to TransCanada. ERM has an ongoing consulting relationship with the company chargeable for the Alaska South Central LNG Challenge, also referred to as Alaska Gasoline Pipeline Venture. The corporate, South Central LNG, is co-owned by TransCanada.
On high of lying about its present business ties, ERM stated on the battle-of-curiosity type it had no “direct or indirect relationship (financial, organizational, contractual or otherwise) with any enterprise entity that could possibly be affected in any method by the proposed work.” In so doing, ERM may have damaged federal regulation – 18 USC § 1001 – by making a false claim on a federal contract.
The State Division’s Office of Inspector Common has formally launched an inquiry into how and why State overlooked ERM’s omission, allowing ERM to doubtlessly commit against the law.
In addition to doubtlessly fraudulent claims about its connection to TransCanada, ERM additionally has vital ties to major fuel trade teams and major players supporting the fracking boom in the US.
The small print will follow beneath, but for starters, here are the connections in a nutshell:
Exhibit A: Kathryn “Katie” Klaber (pictured left), departing head of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, one of the most highly effective gas trade foyer groups in the US.
Prior to serving as Executive Director of the lobbying powerhouse, Klaber began her career at Environmental Resources Administration, Inc. (ERM Group). ERM is a former dues-paying member of the Marcellus Shale Coalition.
Exhibit B: ICF Worldwide, an additional agency contracted by the State Division to perform the environmental evaluate.
ICF maintains necessary ties to the business-funded Heart for Sustainable Shale Growth and to U.S. Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, an outspoken fracking proponent.
Former ICF Vice President Karl Hausker is the husband of Kathleen “Katie” McGinty (pictured proper), former head of President Clinton’s Division of Environmental High quality, environmental aide to Vice President Al Gore and 2014 Democratic Occasion candidate for Governor in Pennsylvania.
Exhibit C: Certainly one of the important thing capabilities of Keystone XL’s northern half – referred to by TransCanada because the “Bakken Marketlink” pipeline – is to convey fracked Bakken Shale oil to market.
The ties that bind elevate even more questions about the legitimacy of the State Department’s contracted out environmental assessment. Beneath follows the thorough therapy.
A: Marcellus Shale/ERM Group Ties That Bind
ERM Group paid $15,000 a 12 months for a Marcellus Shale Coaliton membership, the shale gasoline trade’s lobbying tour de pressure, until October 2011.
Its headquarters are located near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the state at the epicenter of the fracking growth. ERM also networked with the gasoline business, supplied speakers, and sponsored a booth at Marcellus Shale Coalition’s “Shale Fuel Perception” convention in 2012, which happened in Philadelphia.
Beyond fiscal ties, Katie Klaber – Marcellus Shale Coalition’s first president – is a former ERM Group greater-up.
“Via the nineteen nineties, Kathryn Klaber worked for the international environmental, well being and security consulting firm, Environmental Sources Administration, Inc. (ERM), first…in Philadelphia, then in her native Pittsburgh,” explains a biographical sketch. “She supervised multinational projects, primarily for Fortune 1000 corporations, involving workers from across the company’s 130 places of work.”
“During her last three years with the agency, Ms. Klaber managed the Pittsburgh regional workplace, accountable for all aspects of the follow including business improvement, product delivery, staffing, and monetary management.”
ERM Group additionally works with manufacturing firms to safe ample water provides for fracking. Around 2010 ERM conducted a “water useful resource research for each of six US States crossed by the Marcellus Shale,” based on its website, to assist firms looking to develop shale fuel deposits in the area.
Ed Hinchey is one other key determine working between ERM and the Marcellus Shale Coalition. Hinchey is a Principle Associate and Marcellus Program Director at ERM and a biography lists him as an energetic member of the Marcellus Shale Coalition.
In November 2012 Hinchey debated towards Cornell University’s Robert Howarth, co-author of the May 2011 examine showing shale gas growth is worse for the climate than coal growth when each are measured over their entire lifecycles.
At that debate, when asked if he would change his thoughts if science proved fracking’s perils, Hinchey responded, “The beauty of science is that it is rarely settled, uttering a familiar inventory phrase from the “Tobacco Playbook.” ERM Group previously had close ties to the tobacco business.
Along with Klaber and Hinchey, ERM hosts numerous different fracking advocates.
John Alexander, current CEO of ERM Group, is also on the document stating, “The possibility that a significant drinking water supply will be contaminated by pure fuel drilling operations is fairly slim.”
ERM Foundation also has a fracking tie via Board Member Paul Woodruff, former CEO and Founding father of the foundation in 1994.
Woodruff is now the Founder, President, CEO, and majority shareholder of Sustainable Resources Group, a spin-off of ECOR Options as of Could Anticorrosion Strong Cavitation Device 2011. ECOR Solutions spun off of ERM C&O Services Inc. in 2001, a former subsidiary of ERM Group.
Sustainable Sources Group is also a former dues-paying member of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, which it joined in Feb. 2012.
ERM Group additionally does “environmental services for the Impartial Oil and Gasoline Association of latest York, one other shale gasoline trade lobbying powerhouse.
B: Middle for Sustainable Shale Improvement/ICF International Ties That Bind
ICF International, the other contractor the State Division employed to perform the environmental review, can also be tightly tied to the shale gasoline industry – and to the Obama Administration itself. Ernest Moniz (proper), Obama’s new Secretary of Power, previously sat on ICF’s Board, where he earned $305,000 for a two yr term.
ICF recently wrote a report on behalf of American Petroleum Institute making the case for U.S. shale gasoline exports and likewise has a consumer relationship with America’s Natural Fuel Alliance, a gas trade sponsored lobby group. It is the Department of Energy, with Moniz at the helm, that has the ultimate say over the future of fracked gas exports.
In March 2013, 5 environmental groups and four shale gasoline corporations teamed as much as create the middle for Sustainable Shale Development, referred to because the “Huge Green Fracking Machine” by the general public Accountability Initiative, a watchdog group, in a recent report. The report found the middle for Sustainable Shale Growth has numerous ties to the pure fuel industry.
One of many environmental teams making the ‘fracking machine’ is the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, which at one time hired Karl Hausker as a consultant (left), former VP of ICF Worldwide and husband of Katie McGinty.
McGinty gave Hausker’s Pennsylvania Environmental Council over $2.Eight million in grants while heading Democratic Governor Ed Rendell’s Division of Environmental Conservation and was reprimanded by the state’s ethics board for doing so. She’s now a enterprise associate of Rendell’s at Aspect Partners, which offers funding capital to shale fuel business start-ups.
Different featured Sustainable Shale Growth environmental teams embody each the Clear Air Activity Force and Environmental Defense Fund, both of which also had representatives sitting on the trade-stacked Department of Energy Fracking Subcommittee that Katie McGinty additionally sat on, formed in Might 2011. Another represented group was World Resources Institute, the place Hausker presently sits as a Senior Fellow.
That Subcommittee drew up the loophole-ridden fracking chemical disclosure requirements embraced by ExxonMobil and handed as a mannequin invoice, first by the Council of State Governments after which by the American Legislative Change Council (ALEC), both in late-2011. In May 2013, those same requirements – at this point state regulation in many places – turned the Bureau of Land Management’s chemical disclosure requirements for fracking on public lands.
FracFocus – a entrance group for PR company Brothers and Company, whose shoppers embody America’s Pure Gasoline Alliance, Chesapeake Energy and Chesapeake front group Clean Skies Foundation – is the trade-chosen entity tasked to oversee fracking chemical disclosure.
“The [Center for Sustainable Shale Growth] bills itself as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for the fuel business, putting ahead 15 requirements for fracking and certifying drillers that voluntarily adjust to those standards,” Public Accountability Initiative defined within the report.
For $30,000, frackers can get hold of LEED-model certifications and people certifications shall be doled out by, you guessed it, ICF Worldwide.
ICF additionally runs the “Gas Market Model, which “provides purchasers with evaluation and forecasts of regional gas markets all through North America,” in line with its webpage.
Coming full circle, “Market Model” was utilized in its examine funded by America’s Clean Skies Basis and is titled “The future of Pure Fuel,” co-authored by then Massachusetts of Expertise professor and ICF Worldwide Board Member, Ernest Moniz. The MIT examine was considered one of the primary major examples of “frackademia.”
Moreover, ICF is a major donor to MIT’s Power Intiative, giving $125,000 per year in endowments for the Initiative beginning in 2011, the identical yr Moniz was named to take a seat on ICF’s Board.
C: Bakken Shale Connection to ERM and Philly
Traders check with Keystone XL’s northern half because the “Bakken Marketlink.”
That’s because one of the primary targets of the pipeline’s northern half – apart from pulling Alberta’s tar sands to Gulf Coast export markets – is to hold North Dakota’s Bakken Shale fracked oil to market by way of pipeline. Right now, due to lack of pipeline infrastructure, rail serves as the chief option to get fracked Bakken Oil to market.
In June 2013, ERM said a Bakken fracked oil and tar sands refinery made the air “cleaner” in Delaware Metropolis in a research funded by the owner of the refinery itself. The fracked oil and tar sands goo will get to that refinery through freight rail owned by Norfolk Southern.
And tying it all again to the place the tale started in Philadelphia, the unconventional oil industry is gearing up to carry upwards of 400,000 barrels of Bakken fracked oil by way of freight rail to town’s refineries.
Business publication Rig Zone mentioned this could make Philadelphia a potential “Cushing East,” referring to Cushing, Oklahoma, the “pipeline crossroads of the world.” Philly could soon also develop into a shale gas export hub.
It was in Cushing that President Obama – standing in entrance of the pipe pieces that would quickly make up the ninety five-% full Keystone XL’s southern half – made a speech promoting expedited building of the “Cushing Marketlink” that may pump 700,000 barrels of tar sands per day to Gulf Coast refineries by the top of the 12 months.
Katie Klaber: Picture through LittleSis.org
Katie McGinty: Picture by way of LittleSis.org
Ernest Moniz: U.S. Department of Power
Karl Hausker: Image via LittleSis.org
Groups Name for Evaluate Rejection, ERM Investigation
One factor’s for sure: if there’s a soiled vitality mission ready to be greenwashed, ERM Group is there, enriching itself as a key node in the “Carbon Internet.” A State Division spokeswoman admitted in a current story that State did not even hassle to look into whether ERM Group had conflicts-of-interest earlier than hiring them.
Consequently, many groups, including DeSmogBlog, have demanded Secretary of State John Kerry reject ERM’s Keystone XL northern half environmental evaluation out-of-hand and perform an Office of Inspector General investigation (right now, it’s only a pre-investigation “inquiry”) into how and why ERM was hired to start with.
“Goal analyses of the tar sands pipeline show that the local weather results of this disastrous challenge can be important,” the group letter reads. “However the State Department’s SEIS, which will inform the President’s decision, was ready by a consulting agency that lied on its disclosure type about whether it had labored for TransCanada and other oil firms with a direct stake within the Canadian tar sands.”
“The general public expects the State Department to carry out a transparent and independent evaluate of this project’s impacts on the environment and the worldwide climate before the choice reaches President Obama’s desk.”
Correction: In an earlier model, this blog incorrectly acknowledged that Pennsylvania Environmental Council was beforehand run by Karl Hausker. Mr. Hausker was a advisor for Pennsylvania Environmental Council.
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