Top Hillary Clinton Campaign Fundraiser Lobbies for Offshore Drilling in Israel

23 Mar 2015, Washington, DC, USA --- Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes part in a Center for American Progress roundtable discussion on "Expanding Opportunities in America's Urban Areas" in Washington. --- Image by © Brooks Kraft/Corbis

Jackson Dunn, a lobbyist employed by FTI Consulting subsidiary FTI Government Affairs and a top-level campaign finance bundler for Hillary Clinton’s presidential run, lobbied throughout 2014 and 2015 for offshore drilling off the coast of Israel on behalf of Noble Energy.

The finding by DeSmog comes days after an irritated Clinton told an activist for Greenpeace USA, that she was “so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me” with regards to her coziness to lobbyists and fossil fuel campaign cash.

Dunn, according to his FTI biography, formerly worked for the Bill Clinton White House as the point man for the “business community’s support of President Clinton’s economic and trade agenda.”

The lobbying disclosure forms confirm that Dunn lobbied the White House and State Department on developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, which is where Noble’s top energy assets offshore in Israel sit.

Noble recently faced a major setback in Israel with the Supreme Court ruling that the contractual agreement the company landed with the Israeli government was illegal and akin to a monopoly. The court gave the company and Israel up to a year to negotiate a new deal.

As reported here on DeSmog, Noble also has a connection to Republican Party candidate Donald Trump. A newly-appointed member of his foreign policy team, George Papadopoulos, advocated for offshore drilling in Israel as a staffer for the Noble-funded Hudson Institute.

Noble Energy’s top lobbyist in Israel, Bini Zomer, formerly served as a lobbyist for the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), at whose conference both Clinton and Trump spoke on March 21.

Dunn did not did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story.

FTI and Teneo Holdings

A multi-tiered and massive consulting company, FTI Consulting also houses Energy in Depth, a front group for the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) industry. It also has an office in the same building one floor above that of another influential consulting firm closely tethered to the Clintons: Teneo Holdings.

Teneo, founded in 2011 when Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State, is best known for its ties to Clinton’s top aide when she was Secretary of State. That aide, Huma Abedin, currently serves as a top aide to the Clinton presidential campaign.

Abedin stoked controversy when it was discovered that she was working for Teneo and the State Department simultaneously and did not initially disclose that. She is the wife of former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY).

Bill Clinton formerly earned a paycheck from Teneo too, serving as a paid adviser until he had a falling out with one of his former top White House presidential assistants, Douglas Band.

Teneo, too, has key and overlapping oil- and gas-related connections to the Clintons, offshore drilling and even offshore drilling off the coast of Israel, at least tangentially.

For example, one of Teneo’s senior advisors is George Mitchell, who served as an envoy to Israel both in the Clinton White House and the Obama White House. Crispin Hawes, managing director of Teneo Intelligence, also has experience in the Middle East energy sphere.

“His core specializations are hydrocarbons politics in the Gulf and political transitions in MENA states, particularly Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Libya,” explains his Teneo biography.

FTIas covered here previously, also lobbies for the Qatar Petroleum-ExxonMobil co-owned Golden Pass LNG facility located in Sabine Pass, Texas. Exxon lobbyist David Leiter, husband of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s former chief-of-staff Tammy Luzzatto, serves as a bundler for the Clinton campaign.

In the case an offshore gas well blowout occurs in the Eastern Mediterranean, Teneo’s Guy Potvin worked on the crisis communications team for BP following its Gulf of Mexico disaster in 2010, a job for which he provided “counsel to the company during the ensuing multi-year litigation and related settlements.”

To help visualize this web of characters and institutions, Jesse Coleman of Greenpeace USA, who has shared with DeSmog some of the research found within this article, generated a map with the LittleSis oligrapher tool. While not exhaustive, it does cover most of the major players mentioned here and some additional ones too.

Eva Resnick-Day, the Greenpeace activist who confronted (and was scolded by) Clinton, essentially encapsulated the broader meaning of this web of influence in an article about her confrontation.

Clinton says she “supports a Department of Justice investigation of ExxonMobil and yet she takes money from an Exxon lobbyist,” said Resnick-Day. “I hope that this video starts an important dialogue on the national scale about fixing our democracy and taking a stand against corporate interests like the fossil fuel industry, so we can run a democracy that is beholden to the people, not campaign contributions.”


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Steve Horn is a Madison, WI-based Research Fellow for DeSmogBlog and a freelance investigative journalist. He previously was a reporter and researcher at the Center for Media and Democracy. In his free time, Steve is a competitive runner, with a personal best time of 2:43:04 in the 2009 Boston Marathon. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in political science and legal studies, his writing has appeared in Al Jazeera America, The Guardian, Vice News, The Nation, Wisconsin Watch, Truth-Out, AlterNet and elsewhere.