Supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline project welcomed a Feb. 26 U.S. State Department report that the federal government acted properly in its choice of an outside contractor to review the pipeline.
The State Department inspector general's report answered those who said that the oil industry unfairly influenced the ongoing federal environmental review of the pipeline.
TransCanada Corporation, the pipeline's developers, did not tell the State Department that Environmental Resources Management, Inc., one of the four companies recommended by TransCanada to review the project, had been a past partner of TransCanada.
The process the State Department used to select the companies "substantially followed" policy, the inspector general said.
"Another day and another government report that finds no reason to continue blocking this common-sense, job-creating project," said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner.
The State Department and other participating federal agencies are nearing the end of their study to determine whether the pipeline is in the national interest. The process is expected to last through April.
President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are expected to make final decision on the Keystone XL project after reviewing the agencies' report, but no timeline for that decision has been set.