Obama Hires Former Keystone XL Lobbyist as Senate Liaison Because It's 'In the Public Interest'

October 12, 2020 0 By JohnValbyNation

The Obama administration has appointed as new Senate liaison a former lobbyist whose job included pushing for construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline—an appointment that required the waiving of an ethics rule.

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As deputy assistant for legislative affairs, Marty Paone “will be the White House’s main staffer responsible for outreach to the Senate,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Paone worked from 2010-2014 as Executive Vice President at the Prime Policy Group, whose clients included a group “dedicated to the development of Canada’s vast oil sands,” according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Also citing the Center’s data, Reuters reports that Paone’s “firm received $280,000 in 2013 and 2014 from the In Situ Oil Sands Alliance, a group of four companies working to develop oil sands in Alberta, Canada, that would be exported to the United States should Transcanada’s Keystone XL pipeline be constructed.”

His new duties will exclude issues related to the pipeline, Reuters adds.

Before his time at Prime Policy Group, Paone spent decades on the Hill, as RollCall reports: “Paone ran the Senate’s floor operations for the Democrats as their party secretary from 1995-2008, and in a 32-year tenure on Capitol Hill, spent 29 of them on the floor.”