60_Plus_ImageThe 60 Plus Association is a front group funded by the Koch Brothers that works to recruit senior citizens to support the organization’s supposed “free market” ideology. 60 Plus has supported the fossil fuel-backed effort to weaken clean energy policies across the country, but has primarily been involved in Arizona. The organization is a non-profit led by former Arizona House Speaker Kirk Adams (who is also the president of Americans for Responsible Leadership).

During the last election season, 60 Plus took over $20 million from the Koch political network’s primary money groups, American Future Fund, Freedom Partners,the Center to Protect Patient Rights. The latter sent 60 Plus only over $10 million, but it also ended up being fined $1 million money laundering and failing to disclose election spending in California. The group had funneled $15 million into California’s ballot proposition fights in 2012.  A spokesman for Koch Industries said regarding the California fines, “We had no involvement whatsoever…”. But Ann Ravel, the head of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, countered that Charles and David Koch were behind a complex network of groups transferring money to influence the outcome of ballot propositions in the State of California.

The_60_Plus_AssociationSean Noble is a paid lobbyist and consultant for Pinnacle West, a corporation that owns the largest utility in Arizona (Arizona Public Service), is also a Koch-network operative. Noble provided the pass-through for Arizona Public Service (APS) to launder money through the Center to Protect Patient Rights to two non-profit organizations: 60 Plus and Prosper. 60 Plus was part of a coordinated campaign on the state’s net metering law that was being criticized by APS.

APS initially denied that it was providing funding to the two groups. At the time, an APS spokesman insisted that the company did not pay for the ads nor did it contribute to the groups. However, the spokesperson was unable to confirm whether or not Pinnacle West, contributed to the organization or paid for the ad. In October 2013, APS finally admitted that it did fund the 60 Plus and Prosper to run a campaign against net metering that was in favor of the utility’s position.

In 2015, the group’s chairman, Jim Martin, called for the elimination of solar tax credits in Louisiana, claiming that solar incentives “are costing taxpayers too much and are patently unfair” without mentioning the much larger subsidies handed out to the fossil fuel and utility industries in the state. Martin continued by saying, “The truth is we can’t afford those subsidies any longer and it’s time for the feeding frenzy on state dollars to end,” a statement that most certainly applies to the hundreds of millions in subsidies provided to mature fossil fuel and utility companies.

Additionally in 2015, 60 Plus was one of the organizations working in North Carolina to urge legislators to repeal the state’s renewable energy standard. It also signed onto Americans for Prosperity’s letter calling for the repeal of the law.

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Posted by Energy and Policy Institute