Update: The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is featuring the CARE report with members. Last year, ALEC's Board of Directors approved a model bill sponsored by the Edison Electric Institute to repeal net-metering legislation.
The policy and regulatory debates over solar net metering changes daily as developments unfold rapidly across the country. But one thing is certain: utility companies along with the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) entered this debate fully aware that their business model was under threat from rooftop solar generation.
In fact, 2012 board documents revealed in The Washington Post shined a light EEI’s three-step action plan to slow the growth of distributed generation in their territories. While some utility companies are working with state regulators to better protect their customers and provide choices for ratepayers, many utilities are looking for reports to send lawmakers and commissioners that defend their outdated business model. One of these reports is from the Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE), a 501(c)(3) based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
CARE sent a press release on March 10 publicizing their new white paper, “Solar Power in the U.S.: Lessons Learned and Guidance for Policymakers.” The report is intended to “educate both consumers and lawmakers about the various consequences of using solar energy.” Marita Noon, Executive Director at CARE and the organization’s 501(c)(4), Energy Makes America Great, authored the report. Noon is also listed as an “Expert” on The Heartland Institute’s website.
CARE is a fossil fuel-funded advocacy organization that opposes environmental activism and says that the pursuit of renewable energy will “end the America we know and love.” CARE also states that if solar and wind continues to emerge:
We will have a new earth--and it will not look much like the country people are risking their lives to get into. It will not be a super-power. Instead it will be a superconciousness, looking more like a hippie commune than the wealthiest nation in the world.
The Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE) is a 501 (c)(3) based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Marita Noon is the executive director at CARE. Noon is also listed as an “Expert” on The Heartland Institute’s website. CARE was a co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute First International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC1).
According to SourceWatch, the Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy is a fossil fuel advocacy organization. The group opposes environmental activism and the pursuit of "green," or sustainable energy development, saying the pursuit of solar and wind power "will end the America we know and love." The group refers to sustainable energy advocates as "Gang Green."
In the organization's 2013 Internal Revenue Service Form-990, CARE reported receiving $119,535 from contributions or grants, and $30,252 from "administrative fees" and "internet/wifi use fees." The organization spends most of its money on Marita Noon's salary and travel.
CARE compares environmentalists to watermelons describing them as “Green on the outside like environmentalism, red on the inside like neo-communism or neo-socialism.”
The rapid growth and emergence of solar energy in the electricity market has caused investor-owned utility companies and their trade association, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), to create a strategic campaign to prevent distributed rooftop solar energy from gaining more share of the market.
Documents presented to the EEI Board of Directors in 2012 show the detailed plan to convince lawmakers, regulators, and consumers that distributed rooftop solar is unfair to other ratepayers. EEI and utilities want to squash the solar energy market and continue their entrenchment of the energy monopoly. In fact, the presentation EEI gave to the utility company representatives in the room frames their plan with the question, "How do you grow earnings in this environment?"
Click on our investigation page to read more and see the documents:
This article was co-authored with Matt Kasper.
Willie Soon, a prominent climate denier, received over $1.2 million from fossil fuel companies and foundations for research denying human-caused climate change according to documents released by the Climate Investigations Center and Greenpeace this weekend. The documents reveal that Soon described his work as “deliverables” for his funders when writing journal articles or testimony before the U.S. Congress, in a serious breach of ethics rules for academic researchers.
According to reports, Willie Soon has received funding from Southern Company, Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation (run by the owners of Koch Industries), Exxon Mobil, the American Petroleum Institute, and DonorsTrust (an organization that serves as a conduit for money from the Koch’s and prominent conservative donors to organizations).
Southern Company has been funding Willie Soon, an astrophysicist and climate change denier at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics through one of its subsidiaries called Southern Company Services. The utility company has been funding Willie Soon’s research since 2006 and reports from Inside Climate News show that Southern Company is listed as the funder in 11 papers in 9 academic journals written by Soon. In total, $409,000 has come from Southern Company Services over the past decade.
According to Inside Climate News, “the documents reveal that Soon and Harvard-Smithsonian gave the coal utility company the right to review his scientific papers and make suggestions before they were published. Soon and Harvard-Smithsonian also pledged not to disclose Southern’s role as a funder without permission.” Inside Climate News also explained, “Without exception, the papers question the extent, severity, cause or existence of man-made climate change.”
African energy ministers, utility companies, and private sector investors all gathered in Washington D.C. recently for the Powering Africa Summit at the St. Regis Hotel. The summit is designed to bring stakeholders together, including those leading the Obama administration’s Power Africa initiative, to discuss increasing access to electricity in Africa.
The summit was an opportunity for the Energy & Policy Institute to interview African energy and finance ministers, along with investors, about Peabody Energy’s “Advanced Energy for Life” campaign and the role they see coal playing in the electricity sector in Africa.
Not surprisingly, many people interviewed had never even heard of Peabody’s coal campaign. The ones that had heard of the campaign thought it was a ridiculous attempt to sell more coal. All but one person interviewed said that there was no role for Peabody’s coal in Africa and many advocated for renewable energy as the right path forward for the nations of Africa. The sole outlier interviewed that admitted he had investments in the “clean coal” sector.
Watch the video below: