The Energy and Policy Institute (EPI), a California based group that has been active in Alabama, has participated in many official state and federal functions in recent years around environmental and energy policy. They have been cited as experts on climate and energy policy and are often quoted and sourced in articles and journals. However, numerous entities have raised questions around the group’s legality after finding the organization doesn’t appear to exist in any official state or federal records.
Last week, Jobkeeper Alliance filed an ethics complaint in Florida against Alissa Jean Schafer for receiving income from the Energy and Policy Institute. Schafer is the Seat 4 Supervisor of the Broward Soil and Water Conservation District as well as a Research and Communications Specialist for EPI.
Public officials in the state of Florida must disclose where their income comes from so that the public is informed if there is a conflict of interest. Schafer has included income received from EPI in her financial disclosure report. But Jobkeeper Alliance believes this is a violation considering there are no records of EPI having any business or non-profit status in any state. JobKeeper Alliance also points to the irony of a watchdog group that is itself funded by “dark money” to the extent that there is no record of them and points to their funding possibly coming from Chinese and US solar interests.
Continue reading at Alabama Today.