The State Department inspector general’s new finding that State’s review of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline was not marred by conflicts of interest or bias is giving a political lift to proponents of the project.

“There is no ‘there’ there in the [Office of Inspector General] report. It doesn’t support conspiracy theories that KXL opponents freely spread,” said Neil Brown, a senior aide to Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.).

Lugar is the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee and a key Senate backer of bills to force federal approval of the proposed pipeline, which would bring oil from Alberta’s massive oil sands projects to Gulf Coast refineries.