Senate Committee Hears Testimony on Foreign Meddling in PA Shale

The Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee yesterday heard testimony from several witnesses on the topic of foreign meddling meant to suppress or stop Marcellus Shale production in the Keystone State (and beyond). There were three witnesses, all of them stars (and all MDN friends). One of the three was MDN buddy Tom Shepstone, writer of the always-excellent Natural Gas Now website. As he so deftly does, Tom connected the dots between foreign money and (in this case) the Heinz Endowments, further connecting Heinz to non-profits like THE Delaware Riverkeeper and PBS’ StateImpact Pennsylvania. Here’s how it works: Chris Heinz (one of the directors of the Heinz Endowments) is heavily invested in a Ukrainian gas company. That company is competing with, and wants to suppress, American (including Marcellus) gas from being sold to Europe. Heinz Endowments pumps big money into Riverkeeper, StateImpact and other anti-fracking shill groups, enabling them to file lawsuits, launch negative PR, and make all manor of mischief to slow and stop Marcellus drilling. Which benefits Chris Heinz’s back pocket. The solution, according to Tom, is “sunlight.” Force these non-profits to disclose who is funding them. And get the Auditor General to investigate the “unholy alliance” between these nonprofits and foreign entities. We’d add a third item: Get the IRS to investigate funders like Heinz, organizations that engage in overtly political activities via proxy, in violation of their tax-exempt status…

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