Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy

The Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) advocates for the positions of fossil fuel and utility interests. PACE serves an important role as an anti-clean energy front group and was incorporated by William D. Lineberry, an attorney with the Birmingham, AL office of Balch & Bingham, a firm that lobbies on behalf of Southern Company and its Alabama Power subsidiary.

PACE is funded by dark money groups Partnership for Alabama Leadership (PAL) and Vote Alabama (Vote AL). Both groups are connected to Southern Company’s Alabama Power through Matrix LLC, an opposition research and lobbying firm that has provided political consulting services to Alabama Power for decades.

The head of PAL, Mike Fields, is on retainer as a consultant to Alabama Power, being paid between $10,000 and $50,000 annually for several years.

PACE is also directly linked to Matrix, with Matrix paying PACE Director Lance Brown’s salary in 2009 and 2010 while he was already serving in his role at PACE. And, Matrix employees provided services to PACE.

PACE is an “official partner” with the Consumer Energy Alliance, a fossil fuel-funded advocacy group that recently attacked solar energy in Wisconsin by spreading misinformation and actually tricking citizens into signing anti-solar petitions.

In addition to the Consumer Energy Alliance, PACE lists the following fossil fuel interests as official partners:

Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives

Empower Consumers

Tennessee Mining Association

The National Federation of Independent Business

IBEW System Council U-19, which represents 3,000 Alabama Power employees and is one of the largest member unions of the state AFL-CIO, another PACE partner.

According to the Center for Media & Democarcy’s Sourcewatch, PACE is also part of the Working People for Fair Energy (WPFE), another 501(c)(4) group that describes itself as “a non-profit organization devoted to fighting for energy laws that are fair and affordable to working people and low-income families.”

Recently, Harry Alford, the President and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce and long-time ally of the fossil fuel and utility industry, became a board member of PACE.

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