Rep. Nick Rahall's (D-W.VA) energy reform bill will be the center of debate on Capitol Hill this week, and energy lobbyists are swinging into action. Two of the most contentious sections of the Rahall Bill will see an extension of drilling permit approvals from 30 days to 90 and limit royalties to oil companies.
One of the main opponents to the Rahall Bill is an industry group called the “Alliance for Energy and Economic Growth” (AEEG). The AEEG is being run out of a Post Office Box in Washington, DC and describes itself as:
“… a broad-based coalition whose members develop, deliver, or consume energy from all sources. With more than 1,200 members, the Alliance is seeking to build a national consensus for a comprehensive U.S. energy strategy that balances supply and demand without compromising environmental safeguards, so that we can fuel America’s dynamic economy and support our quality of life.”
While member information is not available on the AEEG website, we came across a 2005 brochure listing the AEEG's steering committee members. They include:
National Manufacturer's Association
US Oil and Gas Association
Alliance of Automobile Manufacturer's
TXU Electric and Gas
The archived AEEG website has a more comprehensive list of members.
In 2001, the AEEG ran a massive advertising offensive helping prop up the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill. In fact, according to a 2001 Washington Post story, a leaked memo by Republican lobbyist Wayne Valis states that there is only one condition to becoming a member of the AEEG, and that is:
“'To join the coalition, you must agree to support the Bush energy proposal in its entirety and not to lobby for changes to the bill,' Valis wrote. 'Should the bill change, you must support the changes in the legislation or drop out of the coalition. If you are caught attempting to lobby behind the back of the White House, you will be expelled from the coalition. I have been advised that this White House 'will have a long memory.'”
While individual names are also not available on the AEEG website, a bit of research reveals the two key individuals attached to the organization. They are:
Bruce Josten, executive vice president government affairs, US Chamber of Commerce was one of the founders of the AEEG and also serves as the AEEG spokesperson.
Luke Popvich, vice president, external communications, National Mining Association also serves as an AEEG spokesperson.
Did we miss anything? Please send any further information on the AEEG to desmogblog[at]gmail.com