House investigators subpoenaed Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday requesting documents on the department’s review of the Keystone XL pipeline that they say have been withheld from Congress.
Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) said the documents are necessary to his panel’s investigation of the administration’s years-long review of the pipeline, which still has not received necessary bureaucratic approvals.
"The Department has been uncooperative in the committee’s efforts to conduct oversight of the Keystone XL permitting process and has shown an unwillingness to recognize the committee’s legitimate interest in obtaining information," Chaffetz said. "In light of this, a subpoena is necessary and appropriate."
The Hill reported the development on Wednesday:
Committee Republicans have twice asked the State Department to provide it with all "reports, recommendations, letters and comments" related to their review of the pipeline. In a June letter, Chaffetz said the department has not been willing to give the committee those documents or to allow members to review them.
Other agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), had posted some of their project documents online for inspection, but the State Department, which is currently reviewing the pipeline, "has refused to make even a single page available to the Committee," Chaffetz wrote with Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), chairwoman of Oversight’s Interior Department subcommittee, in June.
"We will not be stymied in carrying out our responsibility to the American people to effectively oversee the executive branch," Chaffetz said Wednesday.