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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

Yes on 1 for the Sun: The Florida Anti-Solar Ballot Initiative from Utilities

(0) Comments | Posted April 20, 2016 | 11:22 AM

Last week, the Florida utility-backed anti-solar initiative officially launched their campaign to block solar leasing in the sunshine state with the confusing name, “Yes on 1 for the sun.” The utility-backed group running the initiative campaign, called the “Consumers for Smart Solar” has been funded by nearly...

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Utilities Exert Influence Through Universities to Sway Regulatory and Political Debate

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2016 | 3:10 PM

Through university courses, conferences, and reports facilitated by academic staff, the utility industry and its trade association, the Edison Electric Institute, have boosted lobbying efforts targeting state government officials and decision makers.

According to a report released today by Energy and Policy Institute, university-based institutes and faculty...

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Paul Chesser, Fossil Fuel Pundit, Attacks Tech Industry's Cleantech Investments

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2015 | 2:28 PM

Paul Chesser, an anti-clean energy advocate who works for multiple fossil fuel-funded front groups, recently criticized technology companies for their investments in renewable energy. Chesser claims that the companies are still dependent on fossil fuels. But, companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon have invested millions of dollars to build...

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American Energy Alliance Leads Front Group Attack on Wind PTC

(0) Comments | Posted September 3, 2015 | 1:23 PM

The fossil fuel-funded American Energy Alliance wrote a coalition letter signed by 20 organizations to Congress claiming widespread support for "The PTC Elimination Act", which would cut subsidies for wind energy production. The letter uses misinformation to claim that wind energy is bad for the economy and is more...

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EPA Clean Power Plan Attacks Based on Flawed Reports

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2015 | 7:30 PM

Critics of President Barack Obama's landmark regulation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions almost always highlight a series of flawed studies (which are often paid for by utility or fossil fuel interests) to attack the Clean Power Plan.

Many of these flawed, industry-backed reports analyzed the EPA's draft rules or...

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The Secret Network of Fossil Fuel and Utility Backed Groups Working to Stop Clean Energy

(2) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 10:39 AM

The economics of clean energy technology are rapidly changing and, as a result, fossil fuel and electric utility companies are increasingly concerned about the rise of cheap clean energy.

In response, these industries have financed attacks on pro-clean energy policies across the country, specifically targeting renewable energy standards and...

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Pope Francis' Encyclical: Clean Energy and the Moral Case for Climate Solutions

(1) Comments | Posted June 18, 2015 | 12:23 PM

Today, Pope Francis officially released his encyclical, "Laudato Si (“Be Praised”), On the Care of Our Common Home”, calling on “every person living on this planet” to urgently address climate change, reduce the use of fossil fuels, and transition to clean energy.  

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The Exelon-Pepco Merger & Exelon's History of Anti-Clean Energy Lobbying

(1) Comments | Posted April 29, 2015 | 10:49 PM

Exelon has a long history of using political influence to oppose the deployment of renewable energy. Exelon’s political operations may impact the company’s ability to show that a merger with Pepco would provide a tangible benefit to customers on the criteria of conserving natural resources and preserving environmental quality...

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ALEC Climate Change Denial: Attacks on Climate Regulations and Clean Energy Solutions

(11) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 11:27 AM

The American Legislative Exchange Council is trying to silence critics for exposing their history of climate change denial, according to the Washington Post. ALEC sent cease-and-desist letters to the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and Common Cause, demanding that the two organizations “cease making false statements” and to...

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Utilities' Anti-Solar Campaign and Misinformation Debunked

(3) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 10:35 AM


Utility trade association Edison Electric Institute (EEI) launched a multi-year campaign in 2012 to weaken solar energy policies across the country, as reported by The Washington Post. In 2012, during EEI’s “Board and Chief Executives Meeting”, top utility...

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Edison Electric Institute's Anti-Solar, PR Spending Revealed

(1) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 7:55 AM

Screen_Shot_2015-01-21_at_4.26.41_PM.pngIn Washington, D.C., special interests spend millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions. But the influence infrastructure reaches far beyond Capitol Hill, according to a new report by the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) that calculates that...

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

(9) 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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