The investigation of an alleged conflict of interest by a U.S. State Department contractor reviewing the proposed Keystone XL pipeline won’t be complete until January.
The State Department’s Office on the Inspector General announced today that it was reviewing whether recommendations it made in a separate February 2012 report into conflict questions about another Keystone contractor are being followed as the department conducts an environmental review of the $5.3 billion project.
Announcing a Keystone approval/rejection before this investigation has been completed isn't impossible, but it would be, as the folks at Desmog Blog note, "odd". I've been willing to give ERM the benefit of the doubt on this one, on the grounds that the number of companies capable of doing this kind of environmental assessment must be pretty small, and therefore some ties between the company and TransCanada (or any of the other tar-sands big players) is to be expected. Lying about those connections, though...that might be a no no.