Pipeline opponents say emails biased: New York Times

E-mails between the State Department and TransCanada, the company behind a $7 billion proposal to build a pipeline between Canadian oilsands and Gulf Coast refineries, demonstrate "a sometimes warm and collaborative relationship," states a report in today's New York Times. 

The e-mails, the second batch to be released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the environmental group Friends of the Earth, show a senior State Department official at the United States Embassy in Ottawa procuring invitations to Fourth of July parties for TransCanada officials, sharing information with the company about Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s meetings and cheering on TransCanada in its quest to gain approval of the giant pipeline, which could carry 700,000 barrels a day.

The $7 billion project has attracted opposition by environmental groups and has been the target of protests in recent weeks involving the arrests of high-profile celebrities like actress Daryl Hannah. It has also drawn fire from a group of Nobel Peace Prize laureates including the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu who claim the project will "endanger the entire planet" and are urging US President Barack Obama not to approve construction.

The State Department has the final say over the pipeline. A decision is expected by the end of the year.  In August the State Department released it third and final environmental impact statement, which said the pipeline would "have limited impact on the environment." The Canadian government has already endorsed the project.