Analysis: Americans for Prosperity Anti-Wind Letter, June 2014

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The fossil fuel-funded Americans for Prosperity spearheaded a letter published as a full page advertisement in Politico on June 9, 2014 that was signed by 117 organizations. The letter attacked wind energy and called on Congress to oppose the extension of the Wind Production Tax Credit. The Energy and Policy Institute examined the list of signatories and found the following:  

  • Sixty organizations are either funded by fossil fuel interests like the Koch Brothers, ExxonMobil, and the American Petroleum Institute, and/or have known ties to the Koch Brothers’ political network.
    • Thirty-six have been exposed as fossil fuel-funded front groups.

    • The additional 24 organizations have been known to operate within the Koch Brothers’ vast political network as allies of the State Policy Network, American Legislative Exchange Council, or other Koch-backed organizations, and may very likely be funded by fossil fuel interests.

  • Forty-two of the organizations are local anti-wind groups, many of which have minimal public presence or are small collections of local anti-wind activists. Due to the lack of an online footprint, we were unable to determine the size or funding of many of these groups. However, some of the local anti-wind groups listed attended a meeting organized by a fossil fuel front group in Washington, D.C. in 2012.
    • Twenty-one of the 117 organizations have no public presence or a sparse online footprint.

    • For example, “Sherman.Wind.Resistance” has no public presence except for a single reference [.doc] to the email address sherman.wind.resistance@gmail.com

    • The organization “Lee County Informed” is a group of 10 families fighting a local wind farm, but has minimal public presence and no online footprint. 

    • “Save our Skies Ohio” has been unincorporated in the state of Ohio, according to business records

  • Americans for Prosperity claims that 117 organizations signed the letter. However, there are only 116 organizations listed, and the list includes entities that are hardly organizations. 

    • The Weyrich Lunch is not an organization, but a weekly gathering of elite conservatives that happens every Wednesday in Washington. The gathering is affiliated with Grover Norquist’s Wednesday morning meetings (of fossil fuel-funded Americans for Tax Reform).

    • Less Government is a front group managed by consultant Seton Motley, but it has no website at its URL, lessgovernment.org and no public presence except for Seton Motley’s work as a pundit. 

    • Ohioan for Affordable Electricity has no online footprint, and is actually just one anti-wind activist, Tom Stacy. Stacy apparently runs “Save Western Ohio,” but the organization’s website is a collection of old or dead links. 

See our full analysis of each organization.

Organization State Fossil Fuel Funding? Koch Network? Description
Cleburn County Wind Farm Awareness AL    
Local anti-wind group; no website
No Wind Alabama AL      
Local anti-wind group
Save Cherokee Rock Village AL      
Local anti-wind group; no website
Wind Swindle Alabama AL      
Local anti-wind group; no website
Advance Arkansas Institute AK Yes Yes

Funding from DonorsTrust/State Policy Networkmember of State Policy Networkpart of Franklin Center, funded by DonorsTrust and launched by Sam Adams Alliance, which is funded by Koch-backed SPN

Arizona Free Enterprise Club AZ Yes Yes  
Support from Koch-backed Institute for Justice, which litigated the group's case before Supreme Court
National Tax Limitation Committee CA      
Tobacco industry funded front group - worked to limit federal regulation on tobacco
Independence Institute CO      
Funded by DonorsTrust; part of Franklin Center, funded by DonorsTrust and launched by Sam Adams Alliance, which is funded by Koch-backed SPN 
60 Plus Association DC Yes Yes  
Funding from Center to Protect Patient Rights, a Koch funding passthrough; also funded by Freedom Partners, the Koch Brothers' secret bank; also received funding from Koch-network's TC4 Trust 
American Commitment DC Yes Yes  
Koch-funded group, almost entirely funded by Koch passthroughs Freedom Partners, Center to Protect Patient Rights
American Conservative Union DC Yes Yes  
Funding from ExxonMobil; DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund
American Energy Alliance DC Yes Yes  
Funded by ExxonMobil, Koch Brothers and Freedom Partners; President is former Koch lobbyist
Americans for Prosperity DC Yes Yes  
Founded and funded by Koch Brothers
Americans for Tax Reform DC Yes Yes  
Funded by American Petroleum Institute and Koch Brothers; member of State Policy Network
Citizen's Alliance for Responsible Energy DC Yes Yes
Founded by Mark Mathis, consultant to Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico; funded by New Mexico Oil and Gas companies
 
Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes DC   Yes
Americans for Prosperity funded allied group Building a Better Ohio on Ohio Issue 2signed previous AFP anti-wind letter
 
Competitive Enterprise Institute DC Yes Yes  
Funding from ExxonMobil and Koch Brothers; Member of State Policy Network
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste DC Yes Yes  
Funding from Exxon Mobil; signed previous AFP anti-wind letter
Energy Makes America Great, Inc. DC Yes Yes  
Funded by New Mexico Oil and Gas Association; part of Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy
Freedom Action DC Yes Yes  
Executive Director is Myron Ebell, who works for Competitive Enterprise Institute
Freedom Works DC Yes Yes  
Funded by DonorsTrust; Break up of Citizens for Sound Economy (funded by the Koch Brothers) created FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity (funded by the Koch Brothers)
Heritage Action for America DC Yes Yes  
Funded by Koch Brothers; member of State Policy Network
Independent Women's Forum DC Yes Yes  
Funded by Koch Brothers; affiliated with Americans for Prosperity for 5 years
Less Government DC      
Front group managed by consultant Seyton Motley; no website exists at lessgovernment.org, the organization's listed web URL
Let Freedom Ring DC Yes Yes  
Funded through Koch Brothers' political network
National Center for Public Policy Research DC Yes Yes  
Funding from ExxonMobil; member of State Policy Network
R Street Institute DC   Yes  
Connected to Koch political network, was part of Heartland Institute
State Sight DC Yes Yes  
Run by Casey Given, part of Koch political network (Students for Liberty)
Taxpayer's Protection Alliance DC   Yes
Connections to Koch-funded Americans for Job Security and Alliance for America's Future
 
Taxpayers for Common Sense DC      
Anti-subsidy group pushing to end to all energy subsidies
Tea Party Nation DC   Yes  
For profit company, organized first Tea Party convention 
The Club for Growth DC Yes Yes  
Founded by Stephen Moore, who's connected to American Legislative Exchange Council and Koch network; Wisconsin Club for Growth funded by Koch-front group Center to Protect Patient Rights
The Conservative Caucus DC      
Marc Morano of CFACT on the board
The Libre Initiative DC Yes Yes  
Very likely funded by Koch Brothers; Koch affiliated at the least
The Weyrich Lunch DC   Yes  
Not an organization but a "weekly, off the record meeting of conservatives that happens every Wednesday in Washington. Grover Norquist's meeting is at Americans for Tax Reform's office in the morning; those invited to "Weyrich" head off campus after noon." 
Caesar Rodney Institute DE Yes Yes  
Funded by Donors Capital Fund; Member of State Policy Network
Secure America's Future Economy DE   Yes  
part of National Taxpayers Union, which is a State Policy Network member
Georgia Center Right Coalition GA      
No website, no additional information found
Include Resource Supply Management GA      
"Resource Supply Management" is a utility industry consulting group run by Americans for Prosperity Georgia activist
Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy GA   Yes  
part of Consumer Energy Alliance, fossil fuel funded front group
Energy Integrity Project ID   Yes  
Local anti-wind grouppart of anti-wind meeting in DC
Advocates for Responsible Energy Development IL      
Local anti-wind group
Bureau County Informed Farmers IL      
No website, no additional information found
Energize Illinois IL   Yes  
No website, no additional information found
Illinois Policy Action IL   Yes  
Funded by Donors Capital Fund; Member of State Policy Network
Illinois Wind Watch IL   Yes
Part of anti-wind meeting in DC, Tea party group connection
 
 
Lee County Informed
 IL    
Local anti-wind group, no website, group of 10 families
 

Ogle Wind

IL    
No website, no additional information found
The Heartland Institute IL Yes Yes  
Funding from ExxonMobil and Koch Brothers
Concerned Taxpayers of Wells County IN      
No website
Grant County Concerned Citizens IN      
Local anti-wind group
Howard County Concerned Citizens IN      
Local anti-wind group
Resite Now IN      
Local anti-wind group
Wells County Concerned Citizens IN      
Local anti-wind group
Whitley County Concerned Citizens IN      
Local anti-wind group
No Wind Turbines Int'l      
No website, no additional information found
Kansas Policy Institute KS Yes Yes  
Funding from Franklin Center, which is funded by Donors Trust/Donors Capital; member of State Policy Network
Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions KY   Yes  
Member of State Policy Network
Friends of Lincoln Lakes ME      
Local anti-wind group; no website
Friends of Maine's Mountains ME      
Local anti-wind group
Protect Our Lakes ME    
Local anti-wind group
 
SavingMaine.org ME      
Local anti-wind group
Wayne County Taxpayer's Association MI      
Local anti-tax group
Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition MI, OH   Yes
Local anti-wind group; connections to Koch network
 
Center of the American Experiment MN      
member of State Policy Network and American Legislative Exchange Council
Coalition for Sensible Siting MN      
Local anti-wind group
Freedom Foundation Minnesota MN      
Member of State Policy Network; part of Franklin Center, funded by DonorsTrust and launched by Sam Adams Alliance, which is funded by Koch-backed SPN 
Goodhue Wind Truth MN      
Local anti-wind group
United for Missouri MO Yes Yes  
Funded by Americans for Prosperity 
Montanans for Tax Reform MT Yes Yes  
Affiliated with Americans for Tax Reform
Civitas Institute NC Yes    
Member of State Policy Network; funded by Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and Art Pope (one of AFP's former directors); part of Franklin Center, funded by DonorsTrust and launched by Sam Adams Alliance, which is funded by Koch-backed SPN 
John Locke Foundation NC Yes    
Funding from Donors Trust and Koch Brothers;  Member of State Policy Network; part of Franklin Center, funded by DonorsTrust and launched by Sam Adams Alliance, which is funded by Koch-backed SPN ; Funded by tobacco industry and advocated against tobacco regulation
Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom NE   Yes
affiliated with National Taxpayers Union, which is part of the State Policy Network
Win It Back NE      
Local anti-wind group; no website
Bayshore Tea Party Group NJ      
Local Tea Party group
Rio Grande Foundation NM Yes  
Funding from Donors Trust;  Member of State Policy Network; Part of Franklin Center, funded by DonorsTrust and launched by Sam Adams Alliance, which is funded by Koch-backed SPN;
Clear Skies Over Orangeville NY      
Local anti-wind group; "Partner" of Citizen Power Alliance
Citizen Power Alliance NY      
Coalition of local anti-wind groups 
Coalition for the Preservation of the Golden Crescent NY   Yes
Local anti-wind group; Signed letter with AFP in 2012, Member of Citizens Power Alliance
Coalition on Article X NY   Yes  
Signed letter with AFP in 2012
Cohocton Wind Watch NY    
Local anti-wind group; Member of Citizens Power Alliance, Same P. O. Box
Concerned Citizens of Cattarugus County NY    
Local anti-wind group; Member of Citizens Power Alliance
 
Great Lakes Beach Sweep NY      
Local beach clean up organization
Great Lakes Wind Truth, USA NY      
Local anti-wind group; related to Save the Eagles International and Great Lakes Wind Truth
North American Platform Against Wind Power NY      
Local anti-wind group
Protect Richfield NY      
Local anti-wind group
Save the Eagles International NY      
related to Great Lakes Wind Truth and Toronto Wind Action
Toronto Wind Action NY      
local anti-wind group, related to Save the Eagles International and Great Lakes Wind Truth
WindTurbineSyndrome.com NY      
Anti-wind website; Local zoning board found mold/radon which debunked an ABC News piece about Wind Turbine Syndrome
Mansfield North Central Ohio Tea Party Association OH      
Local Tea Party group
Mansfield Tea Party Patriots OH   Yes  
Local Tea Party group; Head of American Petroleum Institute-funded astroturf group was formerly organizer of Mansfield Tea Party Patriots, allies with Oil and Gas industry, and Americans for Prosperity
Ohioan for Affordable Electricity OH   Yes
One person group; spoke at Institute for Energy Research (a.k.a. American Energy Alliance) eventcited on MasterResource, also runs Save Western Ohio, no website
 
Save Our Skies Ohio OH      
Dissolved group, no website, cancelled corporate registration with Ohio state 
Save Our Skyline VWC OH      
Local anti-wind group; no website
The Black Fork Wind Resistance OH   Yes  
Local anti-wind group; signed previous Americans for Prosperity letters
Cascade Policy Institute OR Yes Yes  
Funding from Donors Capital Fund; member of State Policy Network; part of, Frankiln Center, funded by DonorsTrust and launched by Sam Adams Alliance, which is funded by Koch-backed SPN
Commonwealth Foundation PA Yes Yes  
Funding from Koch Brothers and DonorsTrust/Donors Capital Fund; member of State Policy Network; part of Franklin Center, funded by DonorsTrust and launched by Sam Adams Alliance, which is funded by Koch-backed SPN
Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity RI Yes Yes  
Funding by State Policy Network; member of Start Policy Network; part of Franklin Center, funded by DonorsTrust and launched by Sam Adams Alliance, which is funded by Koch-backed SPN
Far North Dallas Tea Party TX      
Local Tea Party group
Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute TX   Yes  
Member of State Policy Network
Texas Public Policy Action TX Yes Yes  
Funding from Koch Brothers; member of State Policy Network
American Legislative Exchange Council VA Yes Yes  
Funding from Koch Brothers, fossil fuel companies; central infrastructure to lobby state legislators as part of Koch political network
Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation VA Yes Yes  
Produced video for ExxonMobil-funded American Energy Freedom Center; connections to Heritage Institute and Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
Frontiers of Freedom VA Yes Yes  
Funding from Koch Brothers and ExxonMobil; funded by tobacco industry
The Conservative Coalition VA      
Local coalition of Tea Party groups; No website
Brighton Ridge Protectors VT      
Local anti-wind group; No website
Newark Neighbors United VT      
Local anti-wind group; one of three groups opposed to Seneca Mountain Wind Project
Save Our Senecas VT      
Local anti-wind group; one of three groups opposed to Seneca Mountain Wind Project
Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy WI      
Local anti-wind group; one of three groups opposed to Seneca Mountain Wind Project
Sheboygan County Communities for Responsible Energy WI    
No website, same town of Sherman as"Sherman Wind Resistance" below
 
Sherman Wind Resisistance WI      
Local anti-wind group; no website
Allegheny Front Alliance WV      
Local anti-wind group; part of Allegheny Highlands Alliance
Allegheny Highlands Alliance WV      
Coalition of local anti-wind groups 
Friends of Beautiful Pendleton County WV      
No website, Part of Allegheny Highlands Alliance
 
Laurel Mountain Preservation Association
 WV    
Local anti-wind group
 
West Virginia Coal WV Yes    
West Virginia statewide coal association

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