The Keystone XL Pipeline: Houston's Cardno Entrix in the Crosshairs

Houston-based Cardno Entrix is the latest target of scrutiny in the newest allegations of cronyism surrounding TransCanada's Keystone XL Pipeline project. A group of U.S. senators has called for an investigation into the State Department's handling of the Keystone XL permitting process, dragging the local environmental consultant company into the national spotlight last week.

At issue is the State Department's selection of the firm to produce the Keystone XL Environmental Impact Study (E.I.S.) and National Interest Determination (N.I.D.) reports -- research used to evaluate TransCanada's permit application. In August, Cardno Entrix submitted their final E.I.S. report concluding that the proposed plan to construct the 1,700-mile pipeline through six states from Canada to Texas would have "limited adverse environmental impacts." The "environmentally acceptable" recommendation gives the State Department the green light to recommend the permit be granted. It's the final approval TransCanada needs to start tearing up trees and laying pipe.

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Liana Lopez