SCOOP: Auchincloss to be removed from fossil fuel pledge after failing to return or donate funds
By Jessy Han and Adam Bass for Daily Dose of Bass & Han
Massachusetts 4th congressional district candidate Jake Auchincloss is expected to be removed from the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge organized by the nonprofit climate advocacy group Oil Change U.S. tomorrow morning after failing to return or donate a $2,800 donation from Andrew Slifka, executive vice president of the Waltham-based energy supply company Global Partners LP, organizer Collin Rees told Daily Dose.
Auchincloss signed onto the pledge in late November 2019, which requires him to return all donations over $200 from corporate PACs, named executives, and lobbyists of fossil fuel companies and trade associations. All candidates in the 4th congressional district Democratic primary have signed onto the pledge.
The company in question, Global Partners LP, is currently #246 on the Fortune 500 companies list and bills itself as "one of the [Northeast's] largest independent owners, suppliers and operators of gasoline stations and convenience stores." The company supplies a number of fuels including biofuel, crude oil, gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and ethanol. Organizers of the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge have Global Partners LP listed as a 'fuel oil dealer' on its fossil fuel company list.
The donation was first flagged on Twitter by teen activist Calla Walsh on July 16. On the same day, organizers of the pledge said it had reached out to the Auchincloss campaign to raise the issue. According to the group's FAQ page, signees have one week upon notification to either return the contribution or make an equivalent donation to a climate justice organization in order to remain in good standing. Pledge organizer Collin Rees said he had a discussion with the Auchincloss campaign but ultimately fell out of contact and Auchincloss did not commit to returning or donating the contribution. Rees said his group was proud to have nearly all the candidates in the 4th district race sign onto the pledge and hoped Auchincloss would return or donate the money to return to good standing.
According to an analysis of FEC filings, Auchincloss is not the only candidate to receive donations from a fossil fuel executive. Fellow candidate Alan Khazei received a $2,800 donation in late June from Stacy Schusterman, chair of the Samson Energy Company, which engages in deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. When reached for comment, Khazei campaign press secretary Scott Baker said the donation "was refunded immediately." Khazei remains in good standing with the advocacy group organizing the pledge.
Daily Dose reached out to the Auchincloss campaign for comment but did not receive an on-the-record response as of press time. The story will be updated accordingly if the campaign makes a statement.