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Gabe Elsner
Gabe Elsner is the Executive Director of the Energy & Policy Institute, which provides research, reporting, and analysis on the influence industry, lobbyists, and front groups working to expand our reliance on fossil fuels and weaken the development of the clean energy industry. Through investigative research and strategic communications, E&PI provides intelligence to ensure we have an honest and transparent debate on energy policy.

Entries by Gabe Elsner

Koch Network, Fossil-Fuel Front Groups Lobby Congress Against Wind-Energy Tax Breaks

(8) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 6:35 PM

The Koch-brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity spearheaded a letter published as a full-page advertisement in Politico on June 9, 2014, attacking wind energy and claiming that 117 organizations oppose reviving wind-energy tax breaks that expired at the end of 2013. The Energy and Policy Institute examined the...

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Why and How Fossil Fuel and Utility Interests Are Attacking Clean Energy

(1) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 12:03 PM

The Energy and Policy Institute released a report last week documenting how and where fossil fuel companies and front groups have attacked renewable energy standards and net metering policies throughout the country in 2013 and 2014.

Our report is the first roadmap of a shadowy network of front...

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Front Groups Spread Disinformation in Attempt to Freeze Ohio Cleantech Laws

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 12:39 PM

Utility and fossil fuel-funded front groups are peddling disinformation to attack Ohio's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) and Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) that should not be considered credible evidence as legislators debate a bill to freeze the pro-clean technology laws. Policymakers should instead...

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Utility Interests Push Protectionism in the State of Washington

(3) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 11:16 AM

This is Part Two of a series on attacks on net metering in 2014 from the Energy & Policy Institute. Read Part One: North Carolina's Duke Energy Plans Attack on Solar and Part Three: Utility-Backed...

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Utility-Backed Anti-Solar Bill On The Move in Kansas Statehouse

(2) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 4:44 PM

This is Part Three of a series on attacks on net metering in 2014 from the Energy & Policy Institute. Read Part One: North Carolina's Duke Energy Plans Attack...

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What's Really Behind the Alabama Coal Industry's Attack on Pro-Clean Energy Groups? Answer: Market Share.

(8) Comments | Posted December 26, 2013 | 8:46 AM

On December 15, the president of the Alabama Coal Association, George Barber, wrote an op-ed attacking pro-clean energy and environmental groups for their "secretive war on coal" and "hiding their intentions" during Public Service Commission meetings earlier this year. But, the...

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The Campaign Against Net Metering: ALEC and Utility Interests' Next Attack on Clean Energy Surfaces in Arizona

(4) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 11:00 AM

On Thursday, the Arizona Corporate Commission (ACC), the state entity responsible for regulating utilities, voted to charge ratepayers a monthly fee of 70 cents per kilowatt of solar energy installed on their roof. Arizona Public Service (APS) had

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PR Flack Caught on Tape Raises Ethical Problems for Coal Exports Campaign

(2) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 4:05 PM

Last month, Mike Stark from attended Platt's 36th Annual Coal Marketing Days and caught an interesting glimpse into the minds of coal industry operatives pushing to build coal export terminals in the Northwest.

Audio recordings released by Fossil Agenda show Lauri Hennessey, a Vice...

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Mr. Cuccinelli: Virginians Deserve an Answer

(14) Comments | Posted August 30, 2013 | 5:32 PM

Originally posted on Checks & Balances Project.

After siding with Consol Energy in a dispute regarding gas royalties for Virginia landowners, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli received over $100,000 [1] from Consol Energy and its subsidiaries. Our question for Mr. Cuccinelli is simple - given the...

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State Department Inspector General Probing Keystone XL Contractor's Conflicts of Interest

(2) Comments | Posted June 5, 2013 | 9:53 AM

In yet another investigation into the Obama Administration's activities, the State Department Inspector General is probing the conflicts of interest surrounding the contractor that performed the Keystone XL review.

ERMProposalThe American public was supposed to get an honest look at...

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ALEC's Most Wanted: Exposing a Front Group for Fossil Fuel Interests (and Other Corporations)

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2013 | 4:43 PM

The Center for Media and Democracy's (CMD) Brendan Fischer and Nick Surgey uncovered an internal document from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) at the controversial organization's meeting last week in Oklahoma City. The document entitled "OKC anti-ALEC photos" featured the headshots of eight reporters and public interest advocates that...

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ALEC Energy Director Misleads the Wall Street Journal

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2013 | 2:24 PM

In Friday's Wall Street Journal story, "States Cooling to Renewable Energy," American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Director Todd Wynn claimed, "I have not received one dime to work directly on renewable-energy mandates." Wynn may not have received a check where the memo read:...

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State Department Paves Way for Keystone XL Approval, Ignores Reality of Climate Change Impacts

(1) Comments | Posted March 1, 2013 | 5:27 PM

State Department releases Keystone XL environmental impact statement, ignores reality of climate change impacts.

This afternoon, the State Department released its Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) on the controversial Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline, claiming that the pipeline will "not likely result in significant adverse environmental effects." The SEIS...

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Fossil Fuel Front Groups on the Front Page

(14) Comments | Posted December 28, 2012 | 2:27 AM

Fossil fuel-funded front groups, commonly referred to as "think tanks" or "institutes," have been secretly influencing the media and the public on energy issues by moving pro-fossil fuel messaging.

These groups, and their proponents, have been quoted on average every other day for the past five years in 60 of...

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Confessions of a Coal Lobbyist -- Jeff Holmstead

(0) Comments | Posted December 12, 2012 | 12:03 PM

Recently, the Checks and Balances Project attended an event looking at the future of energy policy, now that the election is behind us. Energy and the Presidency: The Shift From Campaigning to Policymaking, sponsored by Politico, featured a number of fossil fuel industry pundits: Jack Gerard, CEO of the...

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Romney Campaign Climate Denial and Adviser Andrea Saul Show Deep Connection to Fossil Fuel Lobby

(1) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 5:15 PM

In the final day of this 2012 election campaign, the Romney campaign's strategy to deny climate change and crack jokes about the president pledging to solve the issue may prove to be a poor decision. The mainstream media is connecting the dots that extreme weather is being fueled by climate...

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Name That Representative! Republican Study Committee Meets With ALEC

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2012 | 2:03 PM

On Friday, the Heritage Foundation sent security staff to confront the Checks and Balances Project (C&BP) when it attempted -- from public property -- to identify the high-profile lobbyists and members of Congress who were attending a closed-door meeting between the Republican Study Committee and the controversial American Legislative Exchange...

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Will Gov. Cuomo Listen to the Lobbyists and Gas Industry Consultants? Or the Citizens of New York?

(33) Comments | Posted August 16, 2012 | 5:30 PM

Mounting evidence suggests that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is eschewing science and public concerns in an effort to curry favor with the gas industry. As rumors mount that Cuomo is considering a 2016 presidential run, he may be working to boost his ability to raise campaign funds from the...

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The Class of Talkers Playing Down the Cost of Fossil Fuel Dependence

(14) Comments | Posted February 11, 2012 | 9:35 AM

The fossil fuel lobby aggressively uses lobbying and propaganda to block public health protections, manipulate the energy debate, defend their massive government handouts and attack clean energy sources that threaten to displace them.

No tool goes unused: Traditional lobbying, "super PAC" donations, software that...

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