When Nebraska residents showed up for their final chance to speak out about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline on Tuesday night, they were greeted at every turn by smiling employees of HDR Engineering, Inc., uniformly decked out in khaki pants and blinding white Oxford shirts embroidered with the company's corporate logo. HDR, an engineering and consulting firm based in Omaha, was hired by the state to conduct an environmental impact assessment of the $7 billion project, which, if approved, would transport toxic crude oil from the Alberta tar sands fields across Nebraska's environmentally sensitive Sandhills and the largest freshwater aquifer in North America.

Conflict-of-interest concerns have plagued the Keystone project from the beginning. Now it turns out that HDR has a very cozy relationship with the company it was supposed to evaluate.

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