The Niskanen Center, a libertarian think tank, has hired Green Capitol to lobby on changes to the Natural Gas Act, according to a recent lobbying disclosure. In an interview with PI, David Bookbinder, the think tank’s chief counsel, said Green Capitol was hired to push for “a series of modest procedural amendments” to the law’s provisions that affect interstate pipelines in order to “enhance the protections of property owners.” The Niskanen Center, he said, is pushing for changes that would prohibit pipeline companies from exercising eminent domain until they meet all conditions contained in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s certificate to build. “This should be nonpartisan and should not be highly controversial,” he said. In addition, Green Capitol will lobby for a change to the law that would increase FERC’s oversight of the process under which pipeline companies provide landowners notice of their proposal to build a pipeline. “We’ve run into situations where the pipeline companies have [given] less than perfectly accurate information to the landowners because they have no interest in the landowners doing anything but signing over their rights,” Bookbinder said.
Here is more about Niskanen Center, which was launched in 2015. Think Tank Watch should also note that the think tank has a 501(c)(4) sister lobbying arm - the Niskanen Center for Public Policy.
Donors to Niskanen Center include the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Open Philanthropy Project, the Democracy Fund, the Hewlett Foundation, and the Alex C. Walter Foundation.
Another note: this is it is not the first time that a think tank has used a lobbyist.