Tulsa's Williams Cos. uses Kivvit, which has close ties with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, to win support for construction of a nearly 23-mile underwater pipeline to transport natural gas from New Jersey to New York.
Environmentalists hate the project, but utility National Grid claims the pipeline is needed to meet the growing energy demands of NYC and threatened a moratorium on gas hook-ups if the pipeline isn't built.
The New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation rejected Williams' application on May 15, saying the nearly $1B project is "projected to result in water quality violations and fails to meet New York State’s rigorous water quality standards.
The New York Times called the decision the state's most fraught environmental decision since it banned fracking in 2014
The Natural Resources Defense Council hailed the rejection as "a huge win that will stop a dangerous fracked gas pipeline from passing through NY harbor!"
A Williams spokesperson told the NYT that the DEC "raised a minor technical issue with our application" and promised to resubmit the application.
Eleven members of NYC's Congressional delegation including Jerry Nadler, Nydia Velazquez, Hakeem Jeffries, Grace Meng, Carolyn Maloney and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent a letter to Cuomo on May 15, urging him to reject the pipeline because it poses a potential threat to public health, natural resources and the environment.
The Governor has distanced himself from the issue, telling the DEC to base its judgment on facts, not politics.
Kivvit's Rich Bamberger, who was Cuomo's communications director; Maggie Moran, advisor to the then Attorney General during his 2010 run for Governor; and Chuck Meara, advisor to a trio of New York City Council Speakers, represent Williams on its Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline.
Kivvit ranks No. 21 on O'Dwyer's rankings of independent PR firms with $24.2M in 2018 fee income.