BREAKING: Vitter Slams Angelle On 380K Job With Sunoco Logistics, Alleges Conflict Of Interest; Is The Attack Valid?

Scott Angelle has an ad out that attacks David Vitter for flip-flopping on Common Core and makes the statement that “we know David Vitter can’t be trusted,” so it was only a matter of time before the Senator hit back hard against the Public Service Commissioner.

And today he did, dropping an opposition research blast which brings up a $380,000-per-year job Angelle has as a board member of Sunoco Logistics, an oil pipeline company regulated by the Public Service Commission.

The release…

Scott Angelle has been receiving huge sums of compensation, $380,000 a year, for services he provides to Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. since 2012, yet Louisianians know nothing about this job. Recently, when questioned about his involvement with this company, he dodged the questions, even going so far as to provide falsified information to conceal the facts.

Angelle was asked about his $380,000 job with Sunoco:

ANGELLE: “I don’t have a job, I’m on the board of directors for a company called Sunoco Logistics.”

Angelle was asked if he got the job while serving as DNR secretary.

ANGELLE: “No.”

Angelle was asked if the company he works for did business with Louisiana.

ANGELLE: “Not that I’m aware of.”

Angelle was asked if he thought his Sunoco job was a conflict of interest to his jobs in Louisiana.

ANGELLE: “No. I do not.”

More information below.

SCOTT ANGELLE: SUNOCO’S INSIDER

Scott A. Angelle has been receiving huge sums of compensation for services he provides to Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. since 2012.

Recently, when questioned about his involvement with this company, he dodged the questions, even going as far as to provide falsified information to conceal the facts.

ANGELLE dodges on compensation:

FACT:Scott has made well over a half a million dollars in compensation for his work at Sunoco.

  • Starting in 2013, Angelle’s Annual Compensation From Sunoco Was $380,705. (Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., Form 10-K, Annual Report, United States Securities And Exchange Commission, Filed 2/27/14)

ANGELLE denies Sunoco recruited him for the job while he was Secretary of DNR:

FACT:During a late 2011 trip to Dallas, while serving as the head of DNR, Scott’s official itinerary states that his official business that day was to meet with “Energy Transfer Company,” Sunoco’s parent company. He stayed less than a mile away from Energy Transfer’s Dallas office and was reimbursed $329.67 by Louisiana’s tax payers.

Scott stepped down from his position at DNR in late 2012 and before the year was finished was sitting on Sunoco’s board of directors.

In October 2011, Angelle Expensed A DNR Trip To Meet With “Energy Transfer Company” In Dallas, TX

Angelle’s Travel Itinerary Shows He Traveled To Dallas In October 2011 To Meet With “Energy Transfer Company.” (Scott Angelle, Travel Itinerary, 10/13/11)

ANGELLE lied and said Sunoco did no business with the state while he was at DNR:

FACT: Scott’s assertion that Sunoco, and its parent company Energy Transfer, had no business before the state during his tenure as Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources is a lie. 

ETP has been a publically traded company since 2004.  Beyond Scott having an official meeting in 2011 while holding the position of DNR secretary at their Dallas office, Sunoco, ETP, and ETE own multiple significant energy related assets in the state of Louisiana and have to file thousands of reports with DNR.

Sunoco Has A Financial Interest In A Pipeline System That Runs Through Louisiana

Sunoco Has “A Controlling Financial Interest In The Mid-Valley Pipeline System Which Owns Approximately 1,000 Miles Of Crude Oil Pipelines” That Passes Through Louisiana.  “We have a controlling financial interest in the Mid-Valley pipeline system which owns approximately 1,000 miles of crude oil pipelines that originate in Longview, Texas and pass through Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio, and terminate in Samaria, Michigan.” (Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., Form 10-K, Annual Report, United States Securities And Exchange Commission, Filed 2/26/15)

In 2014, Sunoco Reported Owning 1 Active Terminal In Louisiana, With A Storage Capacity of 161,000 Barrels. (Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., Form 10-K, Annual Report, United States Securities And Exchange Commission, Filed 2/26/15)

ANGELLE Denies there is a conflict of interest with his current LPSC position and his job at Sunoco:

FACTS:  The LPSC is a public utility regulatory agency that also describes itself as having the jurisdiction to regulate pipelines.

http://www.lpsc.louisiana.gov/aboutlpsc.aspx

Angelle was elected to the LPSC late in 2012, at the same time that he was appointed by ETP to serve on Sunoco’s executive board “SUNOCO LOGISTICS PARTNERS L.P. Form 10-K.” 2012. (Pg. 118). Coincidence? http://www.sunocologistics.com/SiteData/docs/SXLForm10K/998b1e2034c4a878/SXL%20Form%2010-K%202012%20FINAL.pdf.

Sunoco has some major pipeline projects expected to come online in Louisiana in the very near future. These projects were announced in August 2014.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2014/08/07/permians-oil-surge-creates-need-for-pipelines/

http://www.sunocologistics.com/pela/

In February 2015, the LPSC voted to expand its authority over all entities engaged in the transportation of petroleum by pipeline, like the ones that ETP and Sunoco utilize in their business endeavors. Angelle was serving on the PSC board when Sunoco announced the new projects and when the PSC gave themselves more authority. Was Scott Angelle making backroom deals to get this done?

 http://lpscstar.louisiana.gov/star/ViewFile.aspx?Id=a909fc03-9b1f-42c9-bdad-2b807c049bb5.

Scott Angelle avoided this vote by conveniently being absent from the room as the votes were taken, returning shortly after completion to continue the commission’s business. If it’s not a conflict of interest, why didn’t he vote? If it is a conflict of interest, why is he still getting paid by Sunoco while serving on the PSC?

http://www.lpsc.louisiana.gov/_docs/_Minutes/2%2026%202015%20BE%20Minutes.pdf                                 

WHY IS SCOTT ANGELLE ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AT SUNOCO: Is Scott Angelle Sunoco’s Louisiana insider to get them sweetheart deals through his elected position on the LPSC? Did Scott Angelle help get Sunoco’s new projects for Louisiana approved in any way? Why would ETP, and the top executives of the company, be pumping $80,000 of campaign contributions into his campaign for Governor?

And Angelle’s camp, in a short conversation with the Hayride, responds to this with a mixture of sighing, grimacing, derisive laughter and headshaking, then offers a rebuttal that goes as follows…

First, the PSC does NOT regulate Sunoco Logistics’ pipelines, because those are interstate pipelines and the PSC only regulates intrastate pipelines in Louisiana. Therefore, there is no conflict of interest in his serving on their board while being on the regulatory body which regulates other pipelines in the state.

And second, Angelle did meet with the Energy Transfer people in late 2011. But at the time Energy Transfer didn’t own Sunoco Logistics. Energy Transfer didn’t acquire that company until the fall of 2012, and Angelle didn’t go on Sunoco Logistics’ board until the end of that year.

We checked this stuff out with a source close to the Public Service Commission who we credit as being reasonably neutral and knowledgeable on the issue, and were told this: that Angelle’s seat on Sunoco Logistics’ board is not a conflict of interest, and his position that Sunoco Logistics only operates interstate pipelines that go through Louisiana but are not regulated by the PSC.

And further, that if Sunoco Logistics were to acquire pipelines in Louisiana of the intrastate variety, the procedure would be for Angelle to simply abstain from any voting on matter related to the regulation of those pipelines; therefore there is not particular risk of a conflict of interest in the future.

So on the whole Angelle’s camp is correct that the job on the board isn’t shady or disqualifying.

The source did say that it’s known on the PSC that Angelle’s seat on the Sunoco Logistics board was a “benny” from his connection to Gov. Jindal, and that it solved a problem he had in giving up his job as the state’s Department of Natural Resources Secretary to serve as the interim Lt. Governor after Mitch Landrieu quit to run for mayor of New Orleans; namely, that the latter job didn’t pay as much as the former job, and he’s got kids in private school. With the Sunoco Logistics board gig, his seat on the PSC and his spot on the LSU Board of Supervisors Angelle doesn’t have a cash-flow problem anymore – and that board seat is a plum job without a lot of time-sensitive duties.

So if Vitter wanted to make the issue of Angelle’s seat on that board a political issue, perhaps he could talk about Angelle’s status as a Jindal insider and how that paid off for him, etc. But it doesn’t look like the attack has quite hit the paydirt Vitter’s camp was going for with its opposition research release.



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