Governor Charlie Baker

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.”

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.

In Massachusetts, 'Independent' Studies of Gas Infrastructure Use Industry Data and Consultants

Read time: 7 mins
No compressor billboard

Massachusetts has contracted two major studies of its natural gas infrastructure, billing both assessments as “independent” efforts. Yet the fact that they use industry consultants and data has raised doubts among critics about their level of objectivity.

While one study is evaluating the state’s overall gas distribution system, the other assessment explores the potential health risks associated with Enbridge’s proposed compressor station in Weymouth, just south of Boston.

Revealed: Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker's Close Ties to Lobbyists For Spectra Energy, Whose Pipeline Projects He Backs

Read time: 7 mins
Bill Weld and Charlie Baker walking together in Baker's gubernatorial campaign video

There has been fierce opposition across Massachusetts to the natural gas pipeline projects of Spectra Energy — residents, campaigners, and politicians have been lining up to oppose the pipelines that will run across the state.

But none of this opposition has swayed the state's governor, Charlie Baker, who has consistently backed Spectra's plans.

However, DeSmog can reveal a cozy relationship between Baker and a lobbying company that has been working to push Spectra's plans through. Those ties run from publicly declared “love” between one lobbyist and Baker to a loaning of office space.

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