American Wind Energy Association Regional and State Priorities, 2012

The following broad summary is provided in the public interest from leaked information, the accuracy of which is attested to by the AWEA’s having demanded the removal of the original material as a copyright violation.

Funding of/Membership in Regional Partners

Eastern: Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY, $25,000), Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC, $50,000), Wisconsin Renewable Energy Organization (RENEW, $80,000)

Central: Wind on the Wires (midwest, $30,000), Wind Coalition (south central, $30,000)

Western: Renewable Northwest Project($35,000), Interwest Energy Alliance($25,000), Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT, $25,000), California Wind Energy Association (CalWEA, $35,000)

Average contribution: $37,000

Regional Campaigns

Efforts are focused on establishing, defending, and increasing state renewable/clean energy portfolio standard requirements to favor wind (e.g., by excluding large hydro).

Other efforts include ensuring that siting regulations benefit developers, convincing utilities and regulators that wind provides reliable and economical capacity, and pleading with them to expand transmission and change the rules to benefit wind.

Local efforts also include contesting landscape, wildlife, and health protection rules as “not based on science”.

All these campaigns have called for a budget of several million dollars, in addition to the tens of millions dedicated on the national level to lobby and bribe for federal tax breaks, subsidies, and regulatory favor.

Federal Campaign

AWEA’s publicity firm for its “Save USA Wind Jobs” effort to extend tax breaks that are scheduled to expire this year is the Washington DC agency Revolution, whose clients include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (“Produce 20,000 well-paying jobs in the short term and thousands more over time by ultimately approving the Keystone XL pipeline”), the Center for Individual Freedom (“the Obama Administration’s anti–oil industry policies and practices are driving up gas prices and threatening American energy companies”), and the anti-wind American Energy Alliance (“increase our oil production”).

The leaked documents describe AWEA’s strategy both to avoid presenting wind as an alternative to fossil fuels and to distance it from other “renewables,” which they acknowledge as having weaknesses that they need to downplay.

Since January 2009, Denise Bode has been the CEO of AWEA. She had previously been the CEO of natural gas lobby American Clean Skies Foundation and president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America. She was appointed to George W. Bush’s Energy Transition Advisory Team, the one chaired by Dick Cheney, and has lectured at the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society. When she ran for the Republican nomination in Oklahoma for U.S. Congress in 2006, she received almost $200,000 from oil and gas interests, the 6th highest amount in the entire country that year. George W. Bush was the keynote speaker at AWEA’s 2010 convention.

American Wind Energy Assn Contributions to Federal Candidates” (WindPAC) shows a 2010 election cycle total of $309,942.

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