Obama campaign hires Keystone lobbyist
President Obama’s 2012 campaign has a new senior adviser — and he is a former lobbyist for the Keystone XL pipeline, according to the environmental group Friends of the Earth.
The campaign hired Broderick Johnson of the lobbying firm Bryan Cave LLP, which lobbied on behalf of TransCanada, the owners of the proposed pipeline.
As the DeSmogBlog has reported, Johnson is part of a web of pipeline lobbyists with ties to Secretary of State Clinton and the White House who have been hired by pipeline proponents. Their hiring is part of a growing pipeline influence scandal surrounding the State Department’s Keystone XL review. Emails between department employees and TransCanada lobbyist Paul Elliott, Wikileaked memos, public remarks, disclosure forms and other documents provide clear evidence that the department’s review of the proposed pipeline has been corrupted by bias, lobbyist influence and conflicts of interest.
On October 6, Friends of the Earth, the Center for International Environmental Law and Corporate Ethics International, all represented by Earthjustice, amended (pdf) a Freedom of Information Act request so that it now includes a request for all State Department documents that pertain to interactions with Johnson and several other pipeline lobbyists.
It is not known whether Johnson lobbied the government directly on behalf of that particular project, but Bryan Cave earned more than $1 million from 2009-2011 from its lobbying activities on behalf of TransCanada.