Energy and Policy Institute
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The organization believes that the United States should power the economy with clean technology in order to address climate change. It advocates for wind, solar power, and other renewable energy types and against traditional fossil fuel energy sources.
On its website, it says "The Energy and Policy Institute exposes attacks and deception by fossil fuel corporations, utility interests, and front groups through investigative research, analysis, and strategic communications."
Matt Kasper is the research director of the Energy and Policy Institute. He focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. His prior work includes the liberal think tank Center for American Progress and former President Obama's political group Organizing for America.
Mission and work
According to Gabriel Elsner, the former executive director of the Energy and Policy Institute, "By disseminating our information through media, allies, and decision makers, Energy and Policy Institute seeks to disrupt fossil fuel-funded misinformation, separate polluters from policymakers, and accelerate the transition to a clean economy."
The organization has claimed that it has defended clean energy policies in 15 states, creating over $3 billion in clean tech investment of over 4.8 GW of clean energy. It also says that it has "debunked anti-wind propaganda and exposed national campaign plans by special interests to rollback policies that support the development of renewable energy."
The group also tracks President Donald Trump’s use of energy efficiency incentives in his properties. They say that Trump has benefited from energy efficiency upgrades on his properties, "courtesy of successful clean energy and climate change policies."
Ohio renewable energy mandates
The group has also done ground level political work in the state of Ohio. The demand for clean energy has been pushed at the state level by renewable energy mandates, which are also known as renewable portfolio standards. These standards set goals that utility companies must reach in order to increase how much green energy they use for the power that they provide for their customers. The group fought a temporary halt to mandates in Ohio, concerned that it would weaken incentives to produce clean energy and was critical that the anti-mandate side of the fight was really a campaign by utility and fossil fuel interests.
"Clean energy is beginning to become mainstream," said Gabe Elsner, former executive director of the Energy and Policy Institute. "Renewable energy is popular and has increased political power now, but that power is still eclipsed by the resources of the fossil fuel industry."
Tennessee Amendment 1
The Energy and Policy Institute has also advocated against ballot initiatives, such as Amendment 1 in Tennessee. According to Politico, "Florida Power & Light Co. contributed $2 million and Duke Energy gave $999,998. Utilities have provided $20.2 million of the $25.7 million raised by Consumers for Smart Solar."
The group has criticized the utility industry, which provides electricity to American homes and businesses. David Pomerantz, executive director of the Energy and Policy Institute, responded, "This latest cash dump by FPL and Duke is a desperate effort to buy an election with a flood of last-ditch deceptive advertisements."
- "Energy and Policy Institute - Watchdog exposing the attacks on renewable energy and countering misinformation by fossil fuel interests" (in en-US). http://www.energyandpolicy.org.
- "About - Energy and Policy Institute" (in en-US). Energy and Policy Institute. http://www.energyandpolicy.org/about/.
- "Who We Are - Energy and Policy Institute" (in en-US). Energy and Policy Institute. http://www.energyandpolicy.org/about/who-we-are/.
- "My Work" (in en-US). http://www.gabrielelsner.com/my-work/.
- Tabuchi, Hiroko (2017-03-03). "Trump Got Nearly $1 Million in Energy-Efficiency Subsidies in 2012". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/business/energy-environment/trump-energy-plan-climate.html.
- Cardwell, Diane (2014-05-28). "A Pushback on Green Power". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/29/business/energy-environment/a-pushback-on-green-power.html.
- "There’s a battle over renewable energy in the states. And the fossil fuel interests are losing. So far.". https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/a-battle-is-looming-over-renewable-energy-and-fossil-fuel-interests-are-losing/2014/04/25/24ed78e2-cb23-11e3-a75e-463587891b57_story.html.
- "Critics blast nearly $3M in utility donations as statewide poll shows slip in support for Amendment 1". Politico PRO. http://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2016/10/critics-blast-nearly-3m-in-utility-donations-as-poll-shows-slip-in-support-106916.