GOP Team At American Energy Alliance Runs 'Energy Town Hall' Oil Bus Tour

Posted by Wonk Room Sat, 22 Aug 2009 23:11:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

AEA Team
American Energy Alliance staffers Kevin Kennedy, Patrick Creighton, and Laura Henderson on tour in Pennsylvania. All are former House GOP staff.
The American Energy Alliance (AEA), a new polluter front group, is touring the nation to smear President Barack Obama’s clean energy reform agenda. Employees riding the “American Energy Express” bus are spreading the conservative claim that the American Clean Energy and Security Act will “cripple our sluggish economy.” AEA is the 501 c(4) offshoot of the Institute for Energy Research, a right-wing oil-industry think tank run by Robert Bradley, a former speechwriter for Kenneth Lay. E&E News reports that AEA’s “Energy Town Hall” bus tour pictures workers in hard hats:
The American Energy Alliance, which is affiliated with the conservative Institute for Energy Research, has begun a four-week bus tour to county fairs, sporting events and public meetings in several coal-reliant states. Representatives of the group will travel in a large blue bus carrying the slogan “Stop the National Energy Tax, Save American Jobs” and a picture of workers in hard hats. They will cross Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia and Virginia. Yesterday, AEA officials participated in a rally with another group, Americans for Prosperity, in Zanesville, Ohio; a day earlier, they visited a county fair in western Pennsylvania.
AEA argues it has “no ties to any political party”:
AEA has no ties to any political party, and it has no interest in supporting the agenda of any particular political party.

However, AEA is tightly connected to the Republican Party and right-wing oil interests. In fact, all of its employees are former House Republican staffers:

Thomas J. Pyle, AEA President, Is A Oil Lobbyist And DeLay Operative. Before joining the Institute for Energy Research and the American Energy Alliance, Pyle worked as a lobbyist for the right-wing oil giant Koch Industries, first in-house starting in 2001, and then at the Rhoads Group. In 2008 Pyle became a lobbyist for the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association. Previously, Pyle served as policy analyst for Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives and as staff director for the GOP Congressional Western Caucus. Pyle started as a legislative assistant for radical anti-environmentalists Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA) and Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA). [Institute for Energy Research, Center for Public Integrity]

Patrick Creighton, AEA Communications Director, Worked For Bush And Pennsylvania Republicans. Patrick Creighton was the special assistant to Samuel T. Mok, the chief financial officer at the Department of Labor from 2004 to 2006. He then worked as a spokesman for oil and natural gas advocate Rep. John Peterson (R-PA) from 2006 to 2009, worked to elect Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA), then joined Thompson’s office until May 2009. [Institute for Energy Research, Legistorm]

Kevin Kennedy, AEA Federal Affairs Director, Promoted Alaska Drilling Under Don Young. After graduating from Union College in 2004, Kevin Kennedy worked for the Astroturf organization Arctic Power, which advocated drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In 2007, Kennedy became a legislative assistant for the corrupt Rep. Don Young (R-AK) and the House Committee on Natural Resources. He joined the Institute for Energy Research and American Energy Alliance in 2009. [Institute for Energy Research]

Laura Henderson, AEA Spokesperson, Served Shelby, Dole, And Tiberi. Laura Henderson was a former press secretary for offshore drilling advocate Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) from 2005-2009. Previously, she worked for former Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) and Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH). [Institute for Energy Research]

Daniel R. Simmons, AEA State Affairs Director, Is A Koch-Funded GOP Staffer. Simmons was the Director of the Natural Resources Task Force at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-wing network funded by Koch Industries, the American Petroleum Institute, and other corporate and right-wing organizations. Previously, Simmons was a Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, also funded by Koch. From 2001 to 2005, Simmons served on the staff of Rep. George Nethercutt (R-WA) on the House Natural Resources Committee. Simmons holds a B.A. in Economics from Utah State University and a J.D. from George Mason University School of Law, also supported by Koch Industries. [Institute for Energy Research, Legistorm]

Furthermore, AEA’s website is run by yet another former GOP House staffer: Webmaster Nathan Imperiale Runs EnergyTownHall.Org. AEA’s was designed by NJI Media Group, part of Endeavour Global Strategies. Endeavour’s head, Sean Spicer, is a long-time GOP operative, including communications work for the House Republican Conference and the Bush White House. NJI Media Group’s president, Nathan Imperiale, served as Director of New Media for the House Republican Conference, building its website. [Twitter, 2/13/09; Endeavour Global Strategies]

AEA’s “American Energy Express” joins a field crowded by conservative oil and coal propaganda - the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity’s “Factuality” bus tour, the American Petroleum Institute’s “Hot Air” balloon tour.

Oil and Coal Industries Spending Two Million Dollars a Day to Shape Political Debate 2

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:44:00 GMT

A report from the Public Campaign Action Fund on 2008 spending by oil and coal industries finds that they are on track to spend about one billion dollars this year on lobbying, political contributions, and advertising. The full report amasses the following expenditures:

Amounts in millionsCoal/Electric Utilities Oil/Gas Total
Political Contributions $16.5 $20.9 $37.4
Lobbying Expenditures 73.7 55.3 129.0
Paid Media 7.4 201.2 208.6
Other Political Spending 40.0 12.2 52.2
Total $137.6 $289.6 $427.2

Lobbying expenditures and political contributions come from Center for Responsive Politics data compiled from public disclosures. Paid media figures are from TNS Media Intelligence, the industry standard for tracking media spending.

The “other political spending” comes from the coal industry group Americans for Balanced Energy Choices / American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ABEC/ACCCE) and from Newt Gingrich’s 527 corporation, American Solutions for Winning the Future (ASWF).

National Conference Call with Sen. Jim DeMint on Cap and Trade, Energy Issues

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 09 Jul 2008 23:10:00 GMT

On Wednesday evening, July 9, Americans for Prosperity will host a national Tele Town Hall meeting with U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina—one of the top free-market leaders in America.

As everybody knows, gas prices are out of control, yet some in Congress continue to push legislation like a $1.2 trillion global warming carbon tax hike that will only make matters worse. At the same time, Congress is blocking legislation that would allow us to increase energy production and supplies here at home.

During Wednesday’s Telephone Town Hall meeting, Senator DeMint and AFP President Tim Phillips will discuss with participants how Al Gore and his environmental extremist policies are driving up the price of gasoline, increasing home energy costs, and killing jobs.

They’ll be discussing what is at stake, and what we can all do to help Senator DeMint fight the good fight in Washington. Callers will also have the opportunity to ask Senator DeMint a question.

The Telephone Town Hall meeting begin on Wednesday beginning at 7:10 p.m. Eastern time. That’s 6:10 in the Central time zone, 5:10 Mountain time and 4:10 p.m. on the West Coast.

To join, you can simply dial in at 7:10 p.m. Eastern time by calling toll-free to 1-877-229-8493 and entering the PIN code 13896.