Life:Powered

Life:Powered

Background

Life:Powered (LifePowered.org) is a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) designed to “ensure that Americans continue to benefit from abundant, reliable, safe, and clean energy” and to “reframe the discussion about energy sources” including fossil fuels. [1]

In February 2018, TPPF brought on Bernard McNamee to lead the Life:Powered project and also to head TPPF’s Center for Tenth Amendment Action. According to its 2017 annual report, Life:Powered was originally TPPF’s “Fueling Freedom” project, which launched in 2015 “to combat the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.” [2], [3]

McNamee most recently worked as deputy general counsel for energy policy under Secretary Rick Perry at the Department of Energy and has also advised Texas senator Ted Cruz.  [2]

In 2018, we’ll be taking the project to a new level, expanding it to cover every aspect of the policies that promote abundant, reliable, and affordable energy to power modern life,” the report’s message from the President and the Chair noted. [3]

TPPF’s Kathleen Hartnett-White was director of the Fueling Freedom project and co-authored the same-titled book with Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore. White is a senior fellow of the Life:Powered project. [4]

Stance on Climate Change

May 4, 2018

Life:Powered promotes articles critical of a carbon tax as a solution to climate change, generally linking to research done by TPPF. One example is an article by Vance Ginn that links to research by John Cristy to suggest “there’s little conclusive evidence to prove that carbon dioxide emissions cause environmental harm.” [5]

The Life:Powered article concludes: [5]

“Finally, perhaps most importantly, there is little to no evidence that there is a need to reduce carbon emissions in this country. For all of these reasons, and many more, the proposed carbon tax should be whole-heartedly rejected.”

2018

Human flourishing depends on energy use, often in invisible and unnoticed ways. A reliable energy supply can feed the hungry, take care of the sick, and ensure a prosperous economic future for society.  It promotes freedom and independence around the world and right here at home,” the Life:Powered website reads. [6]

The Texas Public Policy Foundation features a “Life:Powered” playlist in its YouTube channel that promotes “The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels” by Alex Epstein, as well as a panel presentation by the CO2 Coalition promoting the supposed benefits of boosting atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. View the playlist below:

Funding

The following funding values are for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the parent organization of Life:Powered.

View the attached spreadsheet for more details on the Texas Public Policy Foundation's funding by year (.xlsx). [7]

Donor and Year Total
Pew Charitable Trusts $5,488,454
Donors Capital Fund $3,530,848
DonorsTrust $1,369,616
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation $1,137,624
Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation $980,000
Searle Freedom Trust $645,000
Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation $548,500
Jaquelin Hume Foundation $490,001
State Policy Network $378,900
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation $315,000
The Roe Foundation $287,000
The Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation $275,000
Armstrong Foundation $160,000
Castle Rock Foundation $125,000
William H. Donner Foundation $110,000
JM Foundation $105,000
Cato Institute $100,000
Exxon Mobil $100,000
Heartland Institute $100,000
Friedman Foundation For Educational Choice $62,000
Charles Koch Institute $47,623
The Robertson-Finley Foundation $42,500
PhRMA $35,000
National Christian Charitable Foundation $27,500
Walton Family Foundation $25,000
Americans for Tax Reform Foundation $25,000
The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation $11,000
Atlas Economic Research Foundation $9,500
Grand Total $16,531,066

990 Forms

The below 990 forms are for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the project's parent organization:

Key People

Michael Nasi is General Counsel of Balanced Energy for Texas, a “coalition of energy consumers, producers, and providers” that includes major coal and energy companies, related advocacy groups, and groups supplying the energy industry such as the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), American Electric Power, Arch Coal, Peabody Energy, and Union Pacific Railroad. [9]

When President Donald Trump issued an executive order to revise or rescind the Clean Power Plan, Nasi described it as “a crucial win for Texas and the nation.” He is also a partner of the law firm Jackson Walker LLP where he founded the firm's “Climate Change and Carbon Management group.” [10], [11]

  • Bernard McNamee — Initially listed as project lead until moving to a position at DOE[2]

Bernard L. McNamee was initially listed as project lead for the Life:Powered project in February 2018, however according to his LinkedIn he left that position in May 2018 to become Executive Director at the Office of Policy for the Department of Energy (DOE). McNamee worked for the DOE as Deputy General Counsel for Energy Policy since May 2017, and as Senior Counsel to the law firm McGuireWoods LLP before that. [12]

Kathleen Hartnett-White is the distinguished senior fellow-in-residence and director of the Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF). Hartnett White previously worked as Chairman and Commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Prior to 2001, she served as then-Governor George W. Bush's appointee to the Texas Water Development Board, where she sat until appointed to TCEQ. [13]

Hartnett-White was nominated by President Donald Trump in 2017 to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), and also served on Trump's “economic advisory team” in 2016. White's nomination was withdrawn after it was sent back to the White House at the end of 2017. [14], [15], [16]

Jacki Pick formerly served as the executive vice president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), a corporate-funded group that has promoted supposed uncertainties around climate science. She also hosts The Jacki Daily Show at TheBlaze.com. [17]

Other People

As of August 2018, TPPF was actively hiring for positions including “Project Coordinator” and “Policy Analyst” for the Life:Powered project. [18]

Actions

August 7, 2018

S&P Global reported that Life:Powered screened two videos at the American Coal Council's Coal Market Strategies conference in New Mexico that would be part of an upcoming campaign. [8]

Michael Nasi, who is reportedly leading the effort, said the videos “aim to educate an 'extremely under-informed' public on fossil fuels.” [8]

“We have failed as both a coal industry, a power industry and obviously other fossil industries and the nuclear industry because we have failed to get together to message together,” said Nasi. [8]

Also speaking at the conference, Luke Popovich, former spokesman for the National Mining Association, discussed industry tactics with regards to climate change: [8]

“It's too late for denial when your customers, the ratepayers, the banks, and regulators already believe climate change is real,” Popovich said. “Accepting that climate change is real merely opens the discussion with the public.”

Rather, a message on how fossil fuels could be a “humanitarian tool”— so-called “energy poverty” has long been a talking point of industry — would be a primary focus of the Life:Powered videos. [8]

“Over 1 billion people do not have any electricity,” retired Penn State University Professor Frank Clemente said in one of the videos. “That's only the tip of the iceberg. About 2.5 billion people only have limited access to electric power. You're closing on almost half of the population of the world are living in energy poverty and that's why I say it is the leading problem facing mankind today.” [8] Clemente has regularly consulted for the energy industry, and has said he has “written, spoken and testified quite a bit on coal's importance to the quality of life around the world.”

Related Organizations

Contact & Address

The Life:Powered project shares the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s address. As per the project’s Privacy Policy Page: [19]

https://www.texaspolicy.com/
901 Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701
United States
[email protected]
512) 472-2700

Social Media

Resources

  1. About,” Life:Powered. Archived August 21, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/W9Ozj

  2. (Press Release). “TPPF Brings on Bernard McNamee, former Dept. of Energy Official, to Lead Tenth Amendment Center, Life: Powered,” Texas Public Policy Foundation, February 8, 2018. Archived via Google Cache dated July 17, 2018.

  3. 2017 Annual Report,” Texas Public Policy Foundation. Retrieved from Scribd.com.

  4. Fueling Freedom,” Regnery Publishing. Archived August 21, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/5DAsu

  5. Vance Ginn. “Carbon Tax: A Free Market Solution to Climate Change?Life:Powered, May 4, 2018. Archived August 22, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/XDg9m

  6. About,” Life:Powered. Archived August 21, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/W9Ozj

  7. Texas Public Policy Foundation,” Conservative Transparency. August 21, 2018.

  8. Taylor Kuykendall. “US fossil fuels target global energy poverty, climate change in new PR push,” SPGlobal, August 9, 2018. Archived August 21, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/yMW7o

  9. Homepage, Balanced Energy for Texas. Archived August 22, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/OYbB4

  10. BET Statement Regarding President Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order,” Balanced Energy for Texas, March 28, 2017. Archived August 22, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/GlVVg

  11. Michael Nasi,” LinkedIn. Accessed August 22, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  12. Bernard L. McNamee,” LinkedIn. Accessed August 22, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  13. KATHLEEN HARTNETT WHITE, DIRECTOR, ARMSTRONG CENTER FOR ENERGY & THE ENVIRONMENT & SENIOR FELLOW, LIFE: POWERED,” Texas Public Policy Foundation. Archived August 22, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/o9UQh

  14. Steve Horn. “Trump Names Climate Denier Kathleen Hartnett White to Head White House Environmental Council,” DeSmog, October 13, 2017.

  15. Press Release). “EXPANSION OF TRUMP ECONOMIC ADVISORY COUNCIL,” PR2016.org, August 11, 2016. Archived September 28, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/5h88Y

  16. AP. “Climate change sceptic Kathleen Hartnett White dropped as Trump environment expert,” The Guardian, February 3, 2018. Archived August 22, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/jR0te

  17. JACKI PICK, SENIOR FELLOW, LIFE:POWERED,” Texas Public Policy Foundation. Archived August 22, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/ApLiQ

  18. Employment,” Texas Public Policy Foundation. Archived August 21, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/PBZmi

  19. Privacy Policy,” Life:Powered. Archived August 21, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/bdbgk

Other Resources