The contractor that evaluated greenhouse gas emissions for the State Department's Keystone XL report is the latest company to come under fire for its ties to TransCanada, the prospective builder of the controversial pipeline.
A conflict-of-interest statement from the consulting firm ICF International, submitted to the State Department in 2012, reveals that the company had done other work for TransCanada.
ICF International analyzed greenhouse gas emissions from tar sands oil, the kind that would flow through the pipeline, for the State Department's supplemental draft environmental impact statement, released in March 2013. Its website states that the firm was hired to compare life-cycle emissions associated with oil derived from Canada's tar sands to those associated with oil from conventional crude.
The final environmental impact statement (FEIS), released in January 2014, also includes ICF International on its list of preparers, with ICF staffers working on the greenhouse gas and market analysis portions of the report.
The FEIS concludes that the projected 830,000 barrels of oil that would flow through the pipeline every day would add between 147 million and 168 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere annually. But it also says that the pipeline would be "unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands, or...