Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Pipeline Lobbying Ethics Questioned Pipeline Lobbying Ethics Questioned

This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation

 

Blogs

Pipeline Lobbying Ethics Questioned

October 25, 2011
The news that a top lobbyist for TransCanada, which is seeking State Department approval for a proposed oil sands pipeline, was an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign has enabled opponents of the pipeline to cry foul, even if it is not clear whether that relationship will end up favoring TransCanada, observers with good-government organizations say.

They also said the case, while not unlawful, presents another example of problems with the revolving-door norm in Washington.

"For the most part, this is business as usual," said Craig Holman, the government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, "but that doesn't make it ethical."

The TransCanada lobbyist, Paul Elliott, was one of Clinton's top aides in 2008, but because he was a campaign staffer, and not a government official, there was no required cooling-off period between when his campaign work ended and when he could begin lobbying Clinton's office. Still, critics allege that his relationship with State Department officials he knew from the campaign provided TransCanada access to the administration that pipeline opponents, like environmental groups, could not get.

The State Department has said the decision "is not and will not be influenced by prior relationships that current government officials have had," according to the New York Times. But the preexisting relationship between Elliott and State Department officials creates at least the appearance of a conflict of interest, which "can be a huge problem even if there isn't one," said Jake Wiens, an investigator with the Project on Government Oversight.

Terry Cunha, a TransCanada spokesman, said in a statement to the Alley that "Mr. Elliott was and is simply doing his job -- no laws have been broken. His role is very similar to the job the over 60 registered DC lobbyists for 10 environmental groups perform."
More Blogs
Job Board
Search Jobs
Digital and Content Manager, E4C
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
PRODUCT REVIEW ENGINEER
American Society of Civil Engineers | CA
Neighborhood Traffic Safety Services Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Bellevue, WA
United Technologies Research Fellow
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
Process Engineering Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Conshohocken, PA
Electrical Engineer Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Findlay, OH
Application Engineer/Developer INTERN - Complex Fluids
American Society of Civil Engineers | Brisbane, CA
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Detroit
American Society of Civil Engineers | Livonia, MI
Chief Geoscientist
American Society of Civil Engineers
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Boston
American Society of Civil Engineers | Burlington, MA
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Civil Enginering Intern - Water/Wastewater/Site-Development
American Society of Civil Engineers | Sacramento, CA
Staff Accountant
American Society of Civil Engineers | Englewood, CO
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
Comments
comments powered by Disqus