Itai Vardi's blog

Massachusetts Energy Secretary Engaged in Enbridge Facility Review While Negotiating Job With Project’s Consultant

Read time: 5 mins
Matthew Beaton

While still in office, Massachusetts’ former energy and environmental secretary Matthew Beaton, who recently left his post for the private sector, took part in discussions about a natural gas project involving his new employer, DeSmog has found.

A Democratic Think Tank, the Progressive Policy Institute, Is Promoting Pushback Against Climate Lawsuits

Read time: 7 mins
Phil Goldberg at Progressive Policy Institute climate event

As part of a growing trend of lawsuits over climate change impacts, cities and states across the U.S. are seeking damages from oil, gas, and coal companies whose products drive the crisis and which for years evidently engaged in disinformation and denial campaigns to stall climate action.

Now the fossil fuel industry is pushing back, taking a page out of Big Tobacco’s playbook to rein in that liability litigation, and getting help from an unexpected source.

Behind the scenes, politically affiliated groups are quietly providing support. One of the outfits promoting the efforts to counter the slew of climate lawsuits is none other than the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), a center-left Washington, D.C.-based think tank with links to the Democratic party. 

Following Carcinogen Data Fiasco, Pressure Grows on Massachusetts to Revoke Enbridge Facility Permit

Read time: 7 mins
Project opponents rally outside the permit appeal hearings on Monday, June 10. Credit: Itai Vardi, DeSmog 

In the wake of fresh revelations that a Massachusetts agency withheld critical air pollution data, calls on the state to retract a permit for a proposed natural gas compressor station in the greater Boston area have intensified this week.

In a letter Thursday to a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) official presiding over an appeal on the permit for Enbridge’s facility in Weymouth, Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA) slammed the DEP for what he called “gaping insufficiencies” in granting the permit, which “compromise the integrity of the DEP process.”

Exclusive: Enbridge Is Behind This Front Group Pushing the Company’s Line 3 Oil Pipeline Project

Read time: 6 mins
Enbridge building

Minnesotans for Line 3, a group established last year to advocate for an Enbridge oil pipeline project, presents itself as a grassroots organization consisting of “thousands of members.”

But a DeSmog investigation has found that behind the scenes, the Calgary-based energy giant is pulling the strings. Enbridge has provided the group with funding, public relations, and a variety of advocacy tactics.

As Natural Gas Infrastructure Decisions Loom, Massachusetts Gov. Baker Invests in Fossil Fuel Companies

Read time: 4 mins
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker

Amidst growing controversy over his administration’s support for new natural gas projects, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker personally invested in the fossil fuel industry, DeSmog has found.

According to Baker’s recent financial disclosure, filed last week with the state’s Ethics Commission, the governor invested last year in a specialty energy fund composed almost exclusively of oil, gas, and coal companies.

After DeSmog’s Revelations, Enbridge’s Weymouth Gas Facility Air Permit in Jeopardy

Read time: 5 mins
Mass DEP office

In a surprise move that threw a controversial fossil fuel project into a whirlwind, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) late last week revealed new evidence of toxins in the area of a proposed natural gas facility in the greater Boston area.

The sequence of events leading to the disclosure was set in motion by DeSmog’s recent revelations that the state had not released air pollution data, including evidence of carcinogens, which were collected from the proposed site of Enbridge’s gas compressor station in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

Now, DEP’s air permit for the compressor station, which is currently under appeal, is teetering.

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