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Environmental Activists File Complaint Against Pittsfield Mayor Over Pipeline

Jim Levulis

Environmental activists in Berkshire County have filed an ethics complaint against Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi for his support of Kinder Morgan’s planned gas pipeline expansion. It alleges Bianchi is violating ethics laws because he still works for energy company Global Montello.The Berkshire Environmental Action Team, which opposes the 400-mile pipeline expansion, filed the complaint with the State Ethics Commission in a letter Monday. For the past 30 years, Bianchi has worked for Global Montello, leaving his full-time post at the oil and gas company in 2012 to serve as mayor. Bianchi says he voiced his support for a pipeline expansion as the leader of a community in need of lower energy costs.

“And if we don’t do something about it, I think you’re going to see businesses leaving this area and doing business in other parts of the country,” Bianchi said Tuesday.

Global Montello has supplier agreements with Kinder Morgan, as do most energy suppliers in the region. Bianchi says he spends about three hours a week reviewing contracts for Global Montello.

Jim is WAMC’s Associate News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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