Politics & Elections

Closer Look: Maj. Ldr. Blazejewski’s ties to fossil fuel companies, big pharma, and luxury real estate

Last year, a broad coalition of local environmental justice activists – led by the People’s Port Authority, the Racial and Environmental Justice Committee, and Sunrise Movement Providenceheld a demonstration outside the home of House Majority Leader Christopher Blazejewski (Democrat, District 2, Providence).

This was done, said activists then because in career as a corporate lawyer, Representative Blazejewski has personally worked on behalf of fossil fuel companies.

Photo for Closer Look: Maj. Ldr. Blazejewski’s ties to fossil fuel companies, big pharma, and luxury real estate

Published on July 27, 2022
By Joshua Kestin and Marco D. Carrasco

Fossil Fuels

Last year, a broad coalition of local environmental justice activists – led by the People’s Port Authority, the Racial and Environmental Justice Committee, and Sunrise Movement Providenceheld a demonstration outside the home of House Majority Leader Christopher Blazejewski (Democrat, District 2, Providence).

This was done, said activists then because in career as a corporate lawyer, Representative Blazejewski has personally worked on behalf of fossil fuel companies. In 2015, he represented One Energy Inc., one of the largest wholesale petroleum distributors in the Northeast. He represented them again in a separate case in 2016. Then, the following year, he added another fossil fuel company to his list of clients by representing Energy Crafters Inc., an oil and gas company more commonly known as Citgo.

Representative Blazejewski also accepts campaign donations from the fossil fuel industry. On December 15, 2021, for example, he received a generous campaign donation from Nicholas Hemond, the lawyer representing Sea-3 LLC, an oil company that operates a propane terminal in the Port of Providence. The timing was not a coincidence. Sea-3 had recently requested permits to build an immense new storage facility for five hundred thousand additional gallons of liquid propane. Right around the same time, Blazejewski also accepted campaign donations from Christopher and Bruce Waterson from Waterson Terminals LLC, the company that manages the Port.

There are some fairly transparent reasons why oil and gas facilities in the Port would be eager to reward Majority Leader Blazejewski with large campaign donations last year. A few months before the donations, a coalition of local climate justice organizations introduced legislation to shut down corporate polluters in the Port of Providence. The Port, which is located within a predominantly BIPOC and working-class community, is packed with fossil fuel facilities including Sea-3, Blazejewski’s financial patron. These companies have pumped so much pollution into the nearby neighborhood that children growing up on the Southside of Providence are at exceptionally high risk of developing severe asthma.

The legislation introduced by the environmental justice coalition would have shut down corporate polluters in the Port, including Sea-3, and a massive Shell Oil facility. The bill would have also created a funding stream for environmental remediation projects for local community residents like installing air filtration systems and replacing lead pipes. Blazejewski steadfastly opposed the legislation and eventually succeeded, through his powerful role as House Majority Leader, in blocking the bill.

In other words, Representative Blazejewski killed legislation that would have protected children in South Providence from choking on fossil fuel pollution while he was taking campaign donations from the very same oil and gas companies pumping that pollution into their lungs.

Big Pharma

In addition to working on behalf of the fossil fuel industry in his legal career, Representative Blazejewski also represents major pharmaceutical companies. He is currently representing Luna Pharmaceuticals, a company that’s being sued for false advertising. The company allegedly ran a targeted ad campaign designed to trick couples who were trying to have children into taking a blend of untested drink mixes instead of FDA-approved fertility medication. Luna Pharmaceuticals claimed that their supplements increased fertility when, in fact, the medication does nothing of the sort, according to a major class action law suit launched by the victims of the alleged false advertising campaign

Attorney Christopher Blazejewski is the lawyer representing the company.

Luxury Real Estate Developers


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This past June, Representative Blazejewski voted for a bill that enables luxury housing developers to avoid paying taxes. Specifically, the bill would extend special tax exemptions to the development company turning the Superman building in downtown Providence into luxury apartments. Of the 285 apartments that will be created in the building, only 57 are reserved for so-called “affordable housing,” which, in a dystopian twist, means they will be priced anywhere from $1,211 to $1,816 per month. The remaining 228 apartments will have no affordability protections whatsoever, so their prices will likely be much higher.

The Majority Leader apparently thought this development project was worthy of an unusually generous investment in taxpayer dollars. The building developers were already on track to receive a full 20-year municipal tax exemption, but Representative Blazejewski decided to vote for a bill that would extend the tax exemption for yet another 10 years.

Though Representative Blazejewski may market himself as a progressive champion of affordable housing, when one examines his concrete actions on housing, like the Superman Building, they closely resemble giveaways for luxury real estate developers.

Uprise RI reached out the Representative Blazejewski for a comment on this piece. His campaign manager, Fil Eden, responded:

Chris’ record fighting for and passing progressive environmental and social justice policy speaks for itself. I’ve been an organizer and activist in RI for 18 years. I’ve organized rallies for climate action, led workers on strikes, sat-in on the Senate floor for abortion access, and organized civil disobedience for immigrant rights. Chris has been with us in every fight and has helped us win major victories on all these issues. We’re going to keep fighting for our progressive values and the Rhode Island all of us deserve.

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