It's now abundantly clear that the State Department's handling of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has been overtaken by polluter lobbyists. Emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Friends of the Earth reveal that State Department officials provided inside information to Transcanada lobbyist and former Hillary Clinton aide Paul Elliott. The State Department Keystone XL hearings are even being run by a TransCanada contractor.

And it's not just TransCanada that has special access to our public officials; Desmogblog has revealed that several other polluter lobbyists with ties to Hillary Clinton have lobbied for the tar sands pipeline. And Inside Climate News revealed this week that a Koch Industries' subsidiary told Canadian regulators it has a 'direct and substantial interest' in the Keystone XL pipeline in order to participate in the Canadian Energy Board's approval process. This comes after Koch told members of Congress exactly the opposite - that it has "no financial interest" in the Keystone XL pipeline.

The growing scandals around cozy relationships between oil lobbyists and the State Department further discredit their absurd conclusion that Keystone XL would have 'no significant impact' on the environment.  Its why Greenpeace has joined other environmental and public interest groups to call on President Obama to reject the State Department's biased conclusions. And hundreds of people will rally this Friday at the final Keystone XL pipeline hearing in Washington DC to make sure oil lobbyists aren't the only voices heard.

President Obama promised that in his administration, lobbyists would no longer run Washington DC; a rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline would show that this was more than just an empty promise.

Image above: Greenpeace activists from Canada, the US, and France place a giant banner reading “TarSands: Climate Crime.” as they block the giant tar sands mining operation at the Shell Albian Sands outside of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada Sept. 15, 2009