Report: Keeping up with clean energy opponents

Clean energy like wind power has an incredible track record of innovating and driving down costs. As the public, states, and the federal government have acted to encourage clean energy’s development, powerful special interest groups – with lots to spend – have tried to stifle the development of these smart policies.

The Energy & Policy Institute seeks to set the record straight with its newest report. This breakthrough publication reveals and analyzes the network of interconnected organizations, think tanks, and advocacy groups that operate with the purpose of misinforming the public on the benefits of clean, renewable power.  From the report:

Fossil fuel and utility interests, concerned about the rise of cheap clean energy, are financing attacks on pro-clean energy policies in an effort to delay the growth of their competition in the marketplace. The Koch Brothers and their allies want to continue selling as much coal, oil, and gas as possible – and in their effort to rollback clean energy policies, are spreading falsehoods about the energy market.

This report documents how and where fossil fuel companies and front groups have attacked renewable energy standards and net metering policies throughout the country in 2013 and 2014.

The report offers an impressive state-by-state breakdown of special interest groups’ activities, tracking and explaining how and why these organizations attack successful policies like renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) and similar policies.

Until recently, the electricity grid relied on centralized, mostly fossil fuel power plants to meet electricity demand. The emergence of affordable, clean electricity presents a serious threat to an industry that’s operated largely in the same way since Thomas Edison turned on the first investor-owned power station in 1882.

Due to the realities of the electricity market, fossil fuel and utility interests are attacking RPS and net metering in order to protect their business interests. ALEC is one front group that the utility industry is using to weaken or eliminate pro-clean energy policies, and is a valuable tool for utilities (and others) to lobby state legislators across the country. However, the real genius of this attack by special interests is the widespread use of additional front groups to lobby, spread disinformation, and pressure decision makers to eliminate clean energy policies.

Of course, clean energy sources like wind power are growing every day, helping diversify the grid and drive down costs for consumers.

You can view the report in its entirety, including analyses on 17 states, here.


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