James E. Benton, Former State Director of the New Jersey Petroleum Council, Joins Stevens & Lee Public Affairs

PRINCETON, NJ, February 22, 2024 Stevens & Lee Public Affairs announced today that New Jersey energy industry leader James E. Benton has joined the growing public affairs firm as a Senior Advisor.

“I am very pleased to welcome Jim to the firm,” said Anthony J. “Skip” Cimino, Senior Managing Director of Stevens & Lee Public Affairs. “He brings a depth of strategic knowledge about energy industry needs and has helped to shape energy policy across the state. He is an asset to our team and an ally to our clients as we help them advance their interests in New Jersey.”

James E. Benton served for four decades as the State Director of the New Jersey Petroleum Council, a division of the American Petroleum Institute, the largest oil and natural gas trade association in the country. With a nuanced understanding of the interplay between energy industry and public policy needs, he provides clients with insight on navigating state government frameworks to advance their goals. 

During his tenure with the New Jersey Petroleum Council in Trenton, Mr. Benton represented the energy industry in all facets of New Jersey and regional operations, including refining, marketing, transportation, shipping, homeland security, research and development. He contributed to energy policy at all levels of New Jersey state government, engaging with governors, legislative leaders, congressional representatives, local officials and agency officers. His successful advocacy has shaped petroleum and natural gas initiatives and alternative energy development, including wind and solar, and nuclear energy policy.

Mr. Benton has a reputation for creating broad coalition advocacy, including engagement with the New Jersey Society of Environmental and Economic Development (NJSEED), the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce (NJCC) Board of Directors, and the New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA). Along with many other constituencies, Mr. Benton developed close ties to the NJ Food Council, AFL-CIO, various state utilities, the New Jersey Building and Construction Trades Council, and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

With the addition of Mr. Benton, Stevens & Lee Public Affairs has grown to include 10 professionals since its launch in early 2022, including most recently Christine Shipley, the former Executive Director of the NJ Senate Republican Office, and energy industry leaders Gladys Brown Dutrieuille, former PAPUC Chairman and immediate past-president of MACRUC, Bob Gordon, former NJ Senator and BPU Commissioner, Dennis Culnan and Erick Ford.