Obama Is Chucking His Green Legacy With Keystone
Rep. Raul Grijalva: Keystone approval marks a return to Bush-era policies
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2014 12:46 PM CST
In this March 11, 2013, photo, a sign reading "Stop the TransCanada Pipeline" stands in a field near Bradshaw, Neb.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

(Newser) – President Obama's environmental record is a "tremendous improvement" from the Bush-Cheney days, but he's on the verge of destroying it with the Keystone XL oil pipeline, writes Democratic congressman Raul Grijalva in the New York Times. The proposed pipeline is a perfect example of how such projects came to be in the bad old days, when politicians trotted out phrases like "streamlining" and the industry could "game the system" with huge infusions of money, writes the Arizona lawmaker.

Take the obvious conflict of interest with the contractor that concluded the pipeline posed no environmental risks—Environmental Resources Management previously worked for pipeline parent TransCanada. The recent report by the State Department's inspector general on ERM's selection should not be interpreted as an exoneration but as an "important example of the problem," argues Grijalva. This is about more than a proposed pipeline, he writes. If ERM's decision stands, "it will re-establish the Bush-era habit of tipping the scales in favor of corporations that want special treatment." And it will ruin Obama's environmental legacy. Click for his full column.