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Cuomo’s Williams ties under scrutiny
CUOMO’S WILLIAMS TIES UNDER SCRUTINY: Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ties to the Williams’ Companies has come under greater scrutiny after WNYC reported that the pipeline company donated $100,000 to a Democratic Party governors’ organization that supports Cuomo. The donations were made a few months before the Department of Environmental Conservation denied “without prejudice” a water quality permit for the pipeline, allowing Williams to submit a new application. In its permit denial, the DEC said “the construction of the Project could have significant water quality impacts in New York State” but that the “precise nature and magnitude of such impacts is uncertain at this time and depends on additional details regarding the construction of the Project.” The WNYC report comes a few weeks after the The Times Union reported that Cuomo’s re-election campaign manager worked at a firm that included Williams Companies. The campaign manager, Maggie Moran, has been on leave from the firm while managing Cuomo’s re-election bid. But opponents, including Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, have said the ties between Cuomo and the major pipeline company is suspect. The Williams Companies is currently seeking approval to build the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project, a 37-mile pipeline in the New York Bay that would also cross parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The pipeline project has faced fierce opposition from environmental advocates in New York and New Jersey.