The San Francisco based Energy Foundation is once again attempting to hijack Alabama’s energy policy. Two years ago, this liberal West Coast organization funded the “War on Coal” fought at the Alabama Public Service Commission by their environmental extremist partners,the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), Alabama Environmental Council (AEC), and GASP. After their radical energy agenda was defeated in Alabama in 2013, the Energy Foundation decided to double down and pour a record amount money into their front groups.
Recently, a group that received $440,000 from the Energy Foundation in 2014, the “Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis,” released a misleading report claiming that utility customers are left out of the decision making process at the Alabama Public Service Commission. Their assertion could not be further from the truth. We choose our representatives on the PSC at the ballot box, which makes our commissioners accountable to the citizens they serve. Last year, Alabama voters made their voice heard when they went to the polls and soundly defeated the PSC candidate who supported giving environmental groups more power at the commission.
The report, ironically titled “Left in the Dark,” argues that environmental groups should be able to influence the development of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which outlines the mix of coal, nuclear, natural gas, and renewables that will be used to generate power over the next two decades. In other states where the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) have the level of access to the IRP process they are seeking here in Alabama, they use it to demand the shuttering of coal-fired power plants and insist they be replaced by costly renewable power sources. If these groups have their way, Alabama families and businesses will be “left in the dark” by a more expensive and less reliable energy future.
The Energy Foundation funds a well-organized national network of environmental groups that are working at the state and local levels to support and advance President Obama’s energy polices. Allowing these radical groups to influence our energy policy would be tantamount to handing the keys to the Alabama PSC over to President Obama himself.
Over the last twelve months, the Energy Foundation has poured a record amount of money into the environmental groups fighting against reliable and affordable energy in Alabama. The breakdown below shows how much each group received in 2014.
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy $990,000
Southern Environmental Law Center $545,000
Alabama Environmental Council $60,000
Alabama Rivers Alliance $65,000
Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis $440,000