PennEast Payola? Buying Support One Community at a Time

In March 2014 MDN wrote about Williams spreading money around with local fire departments and other non-profit organizations in communities where they want to build the much-needed Constitution Pipeline (see Constitution Pipeline Payments to Groups – Donations or Payola?). The Constitution ended up paying out more than $1 million in grants to local groups. Our point at that time was maybe Williams should wait until the pipeline is approved and built before they hand out money. It just seemed to us like a not-so-transparent attempt at influencing (buying?) support for the project. Do we need that support? Sure! But wait until the pipeline is approved and built, and THEN help out those communities and be a good corporate citizen. Seems our advice fell on deaf ears. PennEast Pipeline is now trying the same tactic. Yesterday PennEast announced another round of community grants–handing out $70,000 this time around. PennEast is giving $5,000 each to 14 different organizations, most of them fire & ambulance departments in Pennsylvania and New Jersey…

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