Barbara Kates-Garnick, director, Energy, Climate and Innovation Program, at Tufts University, and senior advisor to The Coalition to Lower Energy Costs Inc., spoke at UMass Lowell Nov. 17, 2014.
A Methuen resident said he is considering filing a complaint about potential illegal lobbying in favor of the Kinder Morgan gas pipeline by a former state official.
Gerald W. McCall said lobbyists behind a group called “The Coalition to Lower Energy Costs Inc.” include the former state undersecretary of energy. McCall, a former 51-year-employee of the state Department of Environmental protection (DEP), cited a state law that prevents former state employees from receiving “compensation directly or indirectly” from groups taking a position on issues before the commonwealth.
“I had to wait two years after I left state employment before I could accept any work from companies lobbying the state,” he said. McCall explained the same rule should apply to Barbara Kates-Garnick, former undersecretary of energy in Governor Deval Patrick’s administration. Kates-Garnick is a senior advisor to The Coalition to Lower Energy Costs Inc., according to the group’s website.
As first reported by WHAV Jan. 29, the group’s website says, “The coalition advocates for the new infrastructure we need to give all of us access to an adequate natural gas supply and lower our energy cost. This will require substantial new pipeline capacity, including one new pipeline from western Massachusetts to Dracut.”
WHAV requested comments from Kates-Garnick and Tufts University.
Kates-Garnick became undersecretary of energy Sept. 14, 2011 and left the position June 27, 2014, according to a statement issued at the time by state Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett. Kates-Garnick left state government to take a position at the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
The Coalition to Lower Energy Costs, formed last October, is operated by lobbyists Alfred A. Minahan, president; Dustin D. Brooks, treasurer; and John F. Hahesy, director, according to the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office. All are, or were formerly, associated with Minahan’s Preti Minahan Strategies of Boston.
McCall attended Tuesday’s public meeting in Andover on a proposed fracked gas pipeline.
Kinder Morgan and its subsidiary Tennessee Gas did not make a formal presentation during the public meeting at Wyndham Hotel. Instead, McCall said, the company placed easels around the room with only a series of maps.
“It was very disappointing. There were no engineers—just PR people. They couldn’t answer technical questions,” McCall said.
Massachusetts General Laws § 268A, sec 5:
Section 5. (a) A former state employee who knowingly acts as agent or attorney for, or receives compensation directly or indirectly from anyone other than the commonwealth or a state agency, in connection with any particular matter in which the commonwealth or a state agency is a party or has a direct and substantial interest and in which he participated as a state employee while so employed, or
(b) a former state employee who, within one year after his last employment has ceased, appears personally before any court or agency of the commonwealth as agent or attorney for anyone other than the commonwealth in connection with any particular matter in which the commonwealth or a state agency is a party or has a direct and substantial interest and which was under his official responsibility as a state employee at any time within a period of two years prior to the termination of his employment