Crusade Against Renewable Energy in the US – New York Times International Weekly – International

When a lawsuit was filed to block America’s first major offshore wind farm off the Massachusetts coast, it appeared to be a showdown between fishing companies and others that would install submarine turbines and cables.

The companies challenging the federal permits for the Vineyard Wind project were from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York. But the group funding the lawsuit filed last year was the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a nonprofit organization backed by oil and gas companies and Republican donors.

With lobbying campaigns, legal measures and model legislation, the group promotes fossil fuels and tries to slow the US transition to renewable energy.

In Arizona, the foundation campaigned to keep a coal-fired power plant open. In Colorado, he called for less stringent restrictions on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. And in Texas, the group has crafted a law to punish financial institutions that want to cut back on investments in fossil fuel projects, legislation adopted by four other states.

The group has also spread climate science disinformation in videos, appearances on Fox News and social media campaigns.

“When you take a look at their promotion of ideas, it is consistently a false choice between being environmentally responsible and enjoying economic prosperity,” said Jeff Clark, executive director of the Advanced Power Alliance, a Texas-based trade group for renewable energy companies. . “This organization exists to defend fossil fuels from any threat to their market share.”

James Leininger, who made a fortune selling medical beds, founded the Texas Public Policy Foundation in 1989 to promote alternative public schools. As it evolved, the group embraced other causes. Leininger financed Rick Perry’s successful campaign for governor of Texas in 2000.

When President Donald J. Trump appointed Perry in 2017 as Secretary of Energy, the group placed several officials in the Administration.

Donations to the group increased from $4.7 million in 2010 to $25.6 million in 2021. Tax documents show it has received money from fossil fuel companies including coal giant Peabody Energy, Exxon Mobil and Chevron. Many of the foundation’s executives and board members have worked for the oil and gas industry.

Last year, the foundation set its sights on the Vineyard Wind project, which will consist of 84 turbines located 23 kilometers off the coast.

Meghan Lapp of Seafreeze Shoreside, a seafood wholesaler who is among the plaintiffs, said she had not been aware of the foundation’s work to dispute climate science but was willing to ignore it.

“The fishing industry needs someone to represent it,” he said.

Since President Joseph R. Biden Jr. took office pledging to make climate action a priority, the organization has increased its efforts.

As Republicans take control of the House of Representatives in January, the group is poised to regain influence.

“We’re going to have more of an impact in Washington not just over the next two years, but over the next six years,” said Jason Isaac, an executive at the foundation. “It’s excellent”.


BBC-NEWS-SRC:, IMPORTING DATE: 2022-12-20 23:50:07

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.