By B.N. Frank
Although utility corruption in Ohio and Illinois is making headlines (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) it’s not isolated to these states. According to a recent article, utility executives and lobbyists have received training by at least one organization to benefit at customers’ expense: Edison Electric Institute (EEI).
From Energy and Policy:
EEI used anti-clean energy campaigns as role models in political boot camp for utility execs
EEI’s boot camp held up two companies as case studies – FirstEnergy and APS – despite both having become paragons of utility corruption.
The trade association for investor-owned electric utilities ran a training camp last December to teach lobbyists and executives from the nation’s utilities how to run winning political campaigns, using as case studies some of the most controversial efforts by utilities to defeat clean energy policies in recent years.
The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) hosted its week-long “Campaign Institute,” at Georgetown University’s business school in December 2019, billing the event as a “partnership with Georgetown University.” Dozens of high-ranking government affairs and communications executives attended the training camp from companies like Alliant Energy, ConEdison, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, DTE Energy, Entergy, Evergy, NationalGrid, NextEra Energy, PG&E, PNM, PPL, Xcel and their subsidiaries.
Materials from the week-long event obtained by the Energy and Policy Institute give the impression of an industry that perceives itself to be under siege from activists who are seeking a host of policy changes, many of them intended to force utilities to decarbonize in order to address climate change.
“At Edison Electric Institute, we were seeing more and more that we have issues that are being litigated not only in state legislatures, public utility commissions, but also at the ballot box with ballot initiatives,” EEI Executive Vice President of Public Policy and External Affairs Brian Wolff in a video from EEI promoting the Institute.
We really want to educate and campaign-ready our companies and our executives and that’s what we’re doing at the Campaign Institute,” Wolff continued.
EEI warned of emerging policy threats,