Clean Energy Opposition Launches New Group Intent on Spreading Misinformation.
by Susan Frank, Director California Business Alliance for a Green Economy
The groups that make up the longtime opposition to AB 32, California’s clean energy and climate law, and a suite of related policies from the state’s clean fuels standard to energy efficiency, have launched a new organization. It is called Californians for Affordable & Reliable Energy (or “CARE”), and purports to care about fuel, electricity and natural gas rates and a predictable energy supply, while keeping costs under control.
As a business group that represents thousands of California companies and hundreds of thousands of workers, we wanted to learn more about this new organization and what we discovered may surprise you. Reading from the “CARE” web site, you see language like “state energy mandates” tied to popular policies like AB 32 and a suggestion that California’s clean energy laws are “undermining the reliability” of our energy, and you start to see a theme.
Looking further at the “CARE” web site, it’s relatively easy to discover that the contact information for the group ties back to a lobbyist known as KP Public Affairs. Not only is KP the #1 lobbyist in California in terms of spending but among the firm’s two biggest clients are Western States Petroleum Association and the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, both of which are historical opponents of and have spent millions over the years trying to kill AB 32.
It’s important to shine a light not only on how this new group is being organized, and who is funding it, because many of you may be asked to become a member under the guise of being concerned with energy costs. I don’t know a business owner who isn’t concerned about the rising costs of energy, including petroleum. But I also know that Business Alliance members don’t attribute those high costs to policies like AB 32 – they know better.
In fact, recent polling from the Public Policy Institute of California shows record support for AB 32 and for the state using its resources now to start addressing climate change impacts. With off-the-chart public support for action on clean energy and climate policies, it is to be expected that WSPA, CMTA and their lobbyists feel they have no choice but to manufacture a new, artificial organization to spread misinformation that has been repeatedly and soundly rejected by much of the business community and the public at large.
Whether they call themselves the AB 32 Implementation Group, Californians Against Higher Taxes, Fueling California, or Californians for Affordable & Reliable Energy, the message and the messengers are the same just repackaged with a different web site address.
I trust that Business Alliance members will see through the ruse, reject “CARE” as they have these other opposition groups over the years, and continue their strong support for California’s clean energy policies.