Lobbyists go to battle over Keystone pipeline

12-11-2011 // Rachel Leven

This excerpt is from The Hill

At least 42 lobbying firms, associations and companies have lobbied on the Keystone XL pipeline since 2009, Senate records show.

Lobbying on the controversial project accelerated this year as the pipeline became a hot-button political issue. Of the 42 entities that have lobbied since 2009 on Keystone, at least 33 of them lobbied on the issue in the most recent quarter, records indicate.

The pipeline began to draw widespread attention earlier this year when environmentalists staged a series of protests at the White House to try and stop the pipeline, which would carry oil sands crude from Canada to Texas.

The Obama administration eventually delayed a final decision on Keystone until 2013, angering many lawmakers and business groups.

Labor unions, environmental groups, Canadian and American oil companies and corporate ethics group are just a few of the sects represented in the lobbying battle.

From companies like Exxon Mobile Corp. to grassroots groups like Americans for Tax Reform — not to mention lobbying and law firms like Bryan Cave — the fate of the pipeline has been a top concern for many in Washington.

The administration has tabled the pipeline decision until 2013 to make time for extensive analysis of alternative routes for the $7 billion crude oil sands pipeline.

But supporters of the project are pressuring the administration to act now, keeping opponents on their toes.

“I think we were going under the assumption that the president’s word was never going to be the final word,” said National Wildlife Federation (NWF) spokesman Tony Iallonardo, whose group is lobbying on the pipeline.

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