Thursday, October 13, 2011

Koch Industries declared 'substantial interest' in Keystone XL pipeline

A document filed with Canada's Energy Board appears to cast doubt on claims by Koch Industries that it has no interest in the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

In recent months Koch Industries Inc., the business conglomerate run by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, has repeatedly told a U.S. Congressional committee and the news media that the proposed Keystone XL oilsands pipeline has "nothing to do with any of our businesses."

But the company has told Canadian energy regulators a different story.

In 2009, Flint Hills Resources Canada LP, an Alberta-based subsidiary of Koch Industries, applied for - and won - "intervener status" in the National Energy Board hearings that led to Canada's 2010 approval of its 327-mile portion of the pipeline. The controversial project would carry heavy crude 1,700 miles from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast.

In the form it submitted to the Energy Board, Flint Hills wrote that it "is among Canada's largest crude oil purchasers, shippers and exporters. Consequently, Flint Hills has a direct and substantial interest in the application" for the pipeline under consideration.

To be approved as an intervener, Flint Hills had to have some degree of "business interest" in Keystone XL, Carole L├ęger-Kubeczek, a National Energy Board spokeswoman, told InsideClimate News. Interveners are granted the highest level of access in hearings, with the option to ask questions. The Energy Board approved Canada's segment of the pipeline with little opposition, and Flint Hills did not exercise its right to speak.

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