Monday, October 29, 2018

Coalition of pro-offshore oil governors is run by oil lobbying firm

Earlier this year, Maine Governor Paul LePage made a stir when he -- alone among Atlantic seaboard governors and in opposition to coastal New England's entire Congressional delegation -- supported the Trump administration's draft plan to open most federal and New England waters to oil and gas exploration.

At the time, I reported how he'd actually called for exactly this policy several months earlier, as chair of the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition, a group of pro-drilling governors whose other members area all from states where offshore oil is already extracted. I also put in a public records request for the governor's correspondence with and for the group, which was finally fulfilled this month.

In this week's Maine Sunday Telegram, I have a story on what that request revealed: that the coalition is staffed and administered by employees of a Texas energy lobbying and consulting firm. Details in the story.

The lobbying firm was also active -- via the industry-funded non-profit advocacy groups it runs -- in the debate over solar power incentives in Maine and New Hampshire, and over loosening protections for New England's marine national monument.

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