HYPOCRISY WATCH: Politician’s Investments Don’t Match Anti-Pipeline Rhetoric

A news report in Massachusetts is shining a bright light on state lawmakers who strongly support anti-pipeline policies that would make energy delivery more expensive, less safe and less reliable – all the while profiting from those companies they purport to oppose.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette examined the financial disclosures of their local state lawmakers and found that staunch opponents to pipelines had invested in energy infrastructure companies.

For example, Sen. Jo Comerford, a “staunch opponent of fossil fuel pipeline projects,” owns stock in Kinder Morgan Inc. and Energy Transfer Partners, despite saying on her website, ““I’ll fight for … new investments in renewable energy and an end to pouring state resources into fossil fuels. I oppose the expansion of gas pipelines in Massachusetts.”

Comerford told the Gazette she was unaware of her investments in the energy infrastructure companies and that she had told her financial manager to move her money into “more socially responsible funds.”

We believe Sen. Comerford had it right the first time, however. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) concludes that pipelines “enable the safe movement of extraordinary quantities of energy products to industry and consumers, literally fueling our economy and way of life.” The PHMSA also says pipelines are “one of the safest and least costly ways to transport energy products.”

And, as we have seen in New York, politicians playing political games with pipelines leads to unnecessarily high energy costs for hard-working families.