(Update in fifth paragraph with response from TC Energy Corp.)
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A lobbying firm run by the brother of White House counselor Steve Ricchetti has signed the Canadian-based company behind the Keystone XL pipeline project, which President Joe Biden effectively halted upon taking office.
Jeff Ricchetti, who runs Ricchetti Inc., will be lobbying on behalf of TC Energy Corp., regarding “legislative issues affecting energy infrastructure, the safe and efficient transportation of natural gas,” according to a disclosure form recently filed with the Senate.
The presidential permitting for the pipeline to link oil sands in Canada to U.S. refiners was approved by the Trump administration after previously being rejected by President Barack Obama. On his first day in office, Biden issued an executive action revoking the Keystone XL pipeline’s cross-border presidential permit. The pipeline has drawn strong criticism from environmentalists but is backed by the energy and construction industries as well as the Canadian government.
Ricchetti Inc.’s lobbying for TC Energy, formerly TransCanada Corp., also includes working on issues related to ”liquids energy, renewable electricity policy, and alternative fuel sources like renewable natural gas and hydrogen,” the disclosure says.
“Jeff Ricchetti is part of a diverse team of advisors that provide strategic advice and counsel to our company on a wide range of energy issues,” said Marc Palazzo, vice president of U.S. stakeholder relations for TC Energy, in a statement to Bloomberg Government.
Jeff Ricchetti has previously declined to directly lobby his brother, who co-founded the firm with him in 2001, several people who worked with him told CNBC.
Other top clients include the Association For Advanced Life Underwriting, pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline PLC, and Applied Materials Inc., which produces equipment and software to make semiconductors.
Steve Ricchetti has been a longtime adviser to Biden and was chairman of his 2020 presidential campaign.
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