A prominent House Republican says he's ready to play hardball to obtain documents about the Keystone XL pipeline from the State Department.
In a new letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz says State hasn't complied with a February request for copies of other departments' input on TransCanada Corp.'s project, which remains under federal review.
"If the department remains unwilling to work with the committee on a voluntary basis, we are left with no alternative but to consider the use of compulsory process to obtain the materials we requested on February 24, 2015," Chaffetz writes.
Chaffetz wants comments from other departments to State about whether the project is in the "national interest."
The letter arrives amid a larger battle over transparency at the State Department and other agencies. Chaffetz recently held a two-day hearing that aired a suite of grievances about excessive delays and redactions in response to public-records requests.
And the State Department is in the thick of its review of thousands of pages of emails turned over from Hillary Clinton's private email server.
With respect to Keystone, a number of agencies filed comments with State, which were not made public, earlier this year on the project. Keystone XL would bring hundreds of thousands of barrels per day of oil from Alberta's oil sands across the border en route to Gulf Coast refineries.