Architect of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s political comeback now lobbies for Dakota Access owner

Lobbying disclosure forms reveal that Miller is also registered to lobby for utility giant Southern Company and major nuclear sector player AECOM.

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SOURCEDeSmog Blog
Image credit: U.S. Department of Energy

Federal lobbying disclosure forms for the first quarter of 2017 show that Jeff Miller, campaign manager for U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry‘s 2016 Republican presidential bid, now lobbies for the company which owns the Dakota Access pipeline.

The forms show that Miller is lobbying on behalf of Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) on “Issues associated with pipeline infrastructure development, midstream sector environmental compliance, and pipeline safety. Issues associated with partnership taxation.” Perry, after bowing out of the 2016 race, was named to ETP‘s Board of Directors. He stepped down from that role after being nominated by President Donald Trump as Energy Secretary.

Miller – formerly a lobbyist in California and adviser to both former California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger and current Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy – is credited as the architect of Perry’s political comeback and foray into the national political scene. After serving as the longest-tenured governor of Texas from 2000–2014, Perry was indicted by a grand jury in August 2014 on corruptions charges in Travis County, Texas, for abuse of power. Those charges were dismissed by the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas in February 2016.

“Whether putting together a string of preparatory workshops with foreign policy experts, positioning Perry on national television shows or helping promote aggressive new stances on international issues, Miller has been the driving force behind the Texan’s political rehabilitation, people inside the Perry network say,” reported The Texas Tribune in August 2014. “Gregarious and likable, he is best known for his prodigious fund-raising skills and overflowing address book.”

Kelcy Warren, founder and CEO of ETP, sat on the advisory board of Rick PAC – a campaign finance entity created to fund Perry’s 2016 run for president – and was also a generous donor to Trump’s presidential campaign.

Other lobbying clients

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After working for the Perry campaign, Miller headed the advocacy practice at Ryan LLC, a lobbying and accounting firm which claims 88 percent of the Fortune 500 oil and gas companies are among its clientele. Its website lists clients such as BP, Citgo, and Chevron. A 2012 New York Times article also names ExxonMobil as a client and reports that Miller landed a $20 million tax subsidy for the company.

“Ryan’s industry specialists understand your unique tax challenges and market dynamics,” reads its website. “Our custom tax solutions for the oil and gas industry protect profitability and cash flow, delivering more than $1.3 billion in savings for our oil and gas clients.”

G. Brint Ryan, CEO and founder of Ryan LLC, served in leadership roles for political action committees (PACs) for Perry’s 2012 and 2016 presidential runs. Ryan donated $250,000 to Perry’s 2016 presidential campaign.

“Jeff Miller’s national relationships and experience in navigating government and politics at the state and federal level will be an incredible asset to all of our clients,” Ryan said in a May 2016 press release announcing Miller’s hiring. “His proven capabilities extend our approach of aggressively defending the rights of taxpayers from unlawful and burdensome tax regulations.”

Miller had previously been in the mix as a potential chief of staff for Energy Secretary Perry, according to E&E News. Other lobbying disclosure forms reveal that Miller is also registered to lobby for utility giant Southern Company and major nuclear sector player AECOM, which both have business before the U.S. Department of Energy.

While Dakota Access will soon open for business, ETP has other oil and gas pipelines in various stages of the regulatory permitting process nationwide, including the Ohio-to-Michigan Rover pipeline, Louisiana’s Bayou Bridge pipeline, and the Texas-based Trans-Pecos pipeline.

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