Dinniman: Pipeline Companies Spend Millions on Lobbying in PA

raining money

WEST CHESTER, PA — Pipeline companies continue to attempt to further their influence in Harrisburg, spending millions of dollars on lobbying, warns state Senator Andy Dinniman.

The Pennsylvania pipeline lobby has spent more than $37.7 million in total on lobbying from the third quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of last year, according to a new report from Greenpeace.

The report was compiled from lobbying expenditures disclosed to the Pennsylvania Department of State by the companies and organizations with financial interest in the Mariner East, PennEast, and Atlantic Sunrise pipeline projects.

Of those funds, the most by far – a whopping $11.59 million – was spent since August 2012 on lobbying by companies with a significant interest in the controversial Mariner East pipeline project, according to the report.

“While we continue to build a strong and growing bipartisan movement to pass real and lasting pipeline safety reform in Pennsylvania, we cannot overlook the vast sums of that big players in the natural gas industry are throwing around to try to retain their grip on the legislature,” Dinniman said.

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Dinniman, who recently introduced a comprehensive package of pipeline safety legislation, said that while expensive lobbying efforts by pipeline companies and industry groups represent a challenge, he would continue to work for and stand for public safety.

“This is a matter of community safety – the very health and well-being of our children, families, and neighborhoods. No amount of money or spin can change that,” he said.

According to the report, the companies with a significant interest in Mariner East that spent funds on lobbying include:

  • ETP, Sunoco LP, Sunoco Logistics and Sunoco Pipelines.
  • Antero Resources
  • Range Resources
  • Aneos Energy (has interest in Range Resources)
  • Rex Energy (has interest in Range Resources)
  • MarkWest
  • CNX Resources
  • EQT Corp.

The most lobbying funds were expended by ETP/Sunoco ($1.2 million), Range ($5.8 million), and EQT ($2.7 million), according to the report.

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In addition, Pennsylvania oil and gas trade groups that represent companies with significant financial stakes in the Mariner East, Atlantic Sunrise and PennEast pipelines spent a combined $22.37 million on lobbying expenses during roughly the same time period, according to the report.

The bulk of those lobbying funds were spent by the Marcellus Shale Coalition ($13.9 million) and the American Petroleum Institute ($7 million), but also included the America’s Natural Gas Alliance, the Pennsylvania Petroleum Association, the Pennsylvania Independent Gas Association, and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, according to the report.

All lobbying expenditures obtained via Pennsylvania State Department database, which must be searched manually.

Source: Andrew E. Dinniman (D), Pennsylvania State Senate, Senate District 19

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Timothy Alexander
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Timothy Alexander
January 31, 2019 5:09 pm

What really needs to happen is an investigation into all the money being spent at the county level. We know the County’s VISTA 2025 “web-based news service” being paid to push “positive news stories” on behalf of Energy Transfer Partners/Sunoco.