Playing with floods: NY HEAT foes also lobby for climate clients

June 4, 2024

Two lobbying firms leading the fight against the NY HEAT Act—Bolton-St. Johns and e3Communications—also represent clients who work on climate and sustainability issues, according to an F Minus review of lobbyist disclosure records.

Since 2023, e3Communications has been paid $140,000 by National Fuel, a lead opponent of the NY HEAT Act. During this time the firm has also been paid $86,000 by Arcadis, an engineering firm whose projects include flood mitigation for Lower Manhattan, sea walls for San Francisco, and flood mitigation for Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Bolton-St. Johns is opposing the NY HEAT Act while working for several environmental clients: the Waterfront Alliance, the Hall of Science, and the Council on the Environment. Since 2023, the firm has been paid $94,000 by National Fuel while also being paid $66,000 by the Council on the Environment to lobby for funding for the Council’s GrowNYC program; $80,000 by the Waterfront Alliance to lobby for funding for climate resiliency programs and community outreach about climate challenges; and $132,000 by the Hall of Science on issues that included funding for a Sustainability and Resiliency Project.

“Playing both sides of the climate crisis is cynical and dangerous—and also clearly profitable for these two firms. Climate and sustainability groups and businesses hiring these firms are also playing with fire, or playing with floods, in the case of Arcadis, which profits off building sea walls while its own lobbying firm is blocking action on the climate crisis.”

In February 2024, F Minus and LittleSis released a report on six other New York lobbying firms whose fossil fuel advocacy is exacerbating climate impacts faced by their other, non-fossil-fuel clients: Brown & Weinraub, Park Strategies, Ostroff Associates, Hinman Straub Advisors, MirRam Group, and Greenberg Traurig.

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