One thing is clear as Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama head into decision-making time on Keystone XL's northern half: ERM has always been able to turn a blind eye to serious environmental impacts.
Throughout its history, ERM has proven instrumental in the fossil fuel industry's deployment of the "Tobacco Playbook," magically transforming one-sided scientific debates like climate change and ecological impacts of extreme pipeline proposals into faux two-sided disputes.
Like today's KXL proposal -- which would only create 35 full-time jobs -- the false promise of thousands of jobs also served as the dominant discourse for BTC Pipeline proponents. The reality, like KXL, was more dim.
Head scarves came off and the sounds of snapping, clapping and whistling filled the bus. I finally realized what I had signed up for was not a historical tour, but rather a chance for young Iranians to breath, relax and let loose.