Kinder Morgan contributed to the campaigns of Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, and to numerous other elected officials, similar to Spectra Energy PAC and many other pipeline companies or associated political action committees. Could this have something to do with how Georgia state officials are not being very helpful to the citizens who overwhelmingly oppose both Kinder Morgan’s proposed Palmetto petroleum products pipeline through eastern Georgia and Spectra’s proposed Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline through southwest Georgia? Could it explain why the Georgia government seems to be treating both pipelines as if they were public-private partnerships with the state?
Searching Georgia Campaign Finance Commission campaign records show Kinder Morgan (KMI) subsidiary Southern Natural Gas (SONAT) contributed to a whole bunch of people, including Casey Cagle: $3,000 in 2006, $5,000 in 2007, and $1,100 in 2010. Also SONAT contributed $500 to Georgia Public Service Commissioner (GA PSC) Stan Wise, $500 to GA PSC Chuck Eaton, and $2,000 to GA PSC Lauren “Bubba” McDonald.
Look who else donated to PSC members: El Paso Energy Service Company of Houston, Texas:
- $1,000 to Tim Echols 8 Jan 2011
- $1,000 to Tim Echols 14 April 2014
- $1,000 to Chuck Eaton 14 November 2011
- $500 to John F. Douglas 16 August 2011
- $500 to Stan Wise 10 July 2006
- $1,000 to Stan Wise 30 December 2011
El Paso also contributed to Buddy Carter and Don Parsons, among quite a few statehouse members. According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s El Paso that’s behind Elba Island LNG export, that the Palmetto pipeline would just happen to pass right by.
Finally, El Paso contributed:
- $1,000 to Casey Cagle for Lt. Governor 12 October 2010
- $2,500 to Nathan Deal for Governor, Inc. 16 September 2010
(And they hedged their bets by donating $2,500 to gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes.)
Who is El Paso Service Company?
El Paso Energy Service Company provides natural gas and other energy products. The company also owns and operates natural gas pipeline system. The company was formerly known as El Paso Natural Gas Service Company. The company was founded in 1987 and is based in Houston, Texas. El Paso Energy Service Company operates as a subsidiary of El Paso Corp.
Michael J. de la Merced and Clifford Krauss, New York Times, 16 October 2011, Kinder Morgan to Buy El Paso for $21.1 Billion.
According to Kinder Morgan, Kinder Morgan – El Paso transaction completed,
El Paso Corporation has been acquired by KINDER MORGAN, INC., which trades as KMI on the New York Stock Exchange. With the close of the transaction, Kinder Morgan is now the largest midstream energy company in North America with an enterprise value of nearly $100 billion. For more information on Kinder Morgan’s approximately 73,000 miles of pipelines and 180 terminals, visit www.kindermorgan.com.
EL PASO PIPELINE PARTNERS (NYSE: EPB) will continue to operate under its current name. For more information go to http://www.kindermorgan.com/pages/investor/epb_overview.aspx.
So, Kinder Morgan contributed to the campaigns of both the Governor Nathan Deal and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle.
We can’t look up campaign contributions to the single Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner who has been anointed to decide the Palmetto Pipeline permit, Russell McMurry. This is because McMurry is an engineer, who was not elected by the people, rather appointed by Gov. Deal as Planning Director and then elected GDOT Commissioner 20 January 2015 by the 14-member State Transportation Board.
Somebody ought to look up campaign contributions to the GDOT Board members, some of whom were in the statehouse before being appointed.
More Pipeline Companies
But that’s not all!
Colonial Pipeline Company of Alpharetta, one of whose owners is Koch Capital Investments LLC, donated $2,000 to Casey Cagel.
Consolidated Pipe & Supply of Lawrenceville, GA, donated to Stan Wise ($5,000), Chuck Eaton ($5,200), and Nathan Deal ($6,300).
More Sabal Trail Campaign Contributions
Previously I missed a Sabal Trail connection for Gov. Deal: NextEra Energy Resources LLC, $500, 24 Sept 2014. NextEra is the other 50% co-owner of Sabal Trail, and the owner of FPL.
NextEra also contributed to Lynn Riley (former GA Rep. District 50 who was appointed by Gov. Deal November 2014 as Georgia Revenue Commissioner).
NextEra’s largest contribution was $4,000 to Lauren W. “Bubba” McDonald Jr., PSC member, a big solar power advocate. Somebody ought to talk to him about NextEra.
This is all in addition to the contributions to Nathan Deal I previously posted:
- $10,000 from Spectra Energy PAC,
- $2,000 from Sempra Energy (owner of Cameron LNG in Louisiana),
- $3,000 from AECOM (contractor for Kinder Morgan’s Elba Island LNG and feeder pipeline),
- $6,300 from Consolidated Pipe & Supply Company of Birmingham, AL,
- and $5,000 from Ernst & Young of Dallas, TX, for whom Spectra’s current and immediate past Treasurers worked.
By the way, when Nathan Deal was in Congress, he was on the Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the ones now pushing fracking, pipelines, and LNG export. I don’t know whether Nathan Deal was involved in that while he was in Congress.
However, it seems he quit Congress to stop an ethics investigation. Washington Post editorial, 1 April 20150, Resignation ends ethics probe of ex-Rep. Nathan Deal,
AMONG THE many frustrating aspects of the congressional ethics process is the fact that, in the rare circumstances when the ethics committees seem poised to act against a member of Congress, lawmakers can short-circuit the inquiry by resigning. Once they’re out the door, Congress loses its jurisdiction to discipline them.
Georgia Republican Rep. Nathan Deal might have had that solution in mind when he resigned March 21, just minutes before the ethics committee faced a deadline to act in his case.
Maybe it’s time to inquire into the ethics of all Georgia elected and appointed officials who have taken money from pipeline companies.
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