Word from the White House is that President Obama decided not to bow to industry influence and will reject the Keystone XL pipeline. While Republicans and industry allies have attacked Obama for putting the “green lobby” ahead of the potential (and much disputed) creation of thousands of jobs, we’ve known all along that the pipeline’s supporters – Democrats and Republicans – in Congress pocketed millions in campaign contributions from Big Oil.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) was a big-time supporter of the proposed pipeline, going so far as to launch a “countdown clock” ticking off the time until the deadline for Obama’s decision expired. But, as Juliet Eilperin reports in the Washington Post, Boehner didn’t just get campaign funds from Big Oil – he has actively invested in it:
Environmentalists note that in December 2010, according to Boehner’s financial disclosure forms, he invested $10,000 to $50,000 each in seven firms that had a stake in Canada’s oil sands, the region that produces the oil the pipeline would transport. The firms include six oil companies — BP, Canadian Natural Resources, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Devon Energy and Exxon — along with Emerson Electric, which has a contract to provide the digital automation for the first phase of a $9.4 billion Horizon Oil Sands Project in Canada.
Talk about a conflict of interest.