By David Goodner
Energy Transfer Partners, a Fortune 500 corporation attempting to build a controversial crude oil pipeline through the state of Iowa, has hired Governor Terry Branstad´s former chief of staff to lobby on its behalf at the state legislature.
Jeff Boeyink, a long-time confidant and ally of Governor Branstad, who served as the governor´s chief of staff from 2010-2013, registered as a paid lobbyist for Energy Transfer Partners on January 5, a DeSmogBlog review of Iowa statehouse documents found.
Boeyink is also a former Executive Director of the Iowa Republican Party and has close ties to New Jersey governor and potential GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie.
He is currently Senior Vice President at the corporate public relations firm LS2group, which has represented Energy Transfer Partners in Iowa since at least July 2014.
LS2group is the same consulting and marketing firm that helped the American Petroleum Institute bring General James Jones to Des Moines on Earth Day last year to give a speech promoting the Keystone XL pipeline.
LS2group´s Director of Government Affairs, Susan Severino Fenton, another Iowa Republican political insider, is also a registered statehouse lobbyist for Energy Transfer Partners.
On February 17, Boeyink attended an Iowa Senate Commerce subcommittee meeting and spoke out against Iowa Senate File 129, a proposed insurance liability bill that could require Energy Transfer Partners to prove it can afford to pay up to $250,000 per mile for any potential oil spills from its pipeline operations.