Every morning, I get an email from the news site Politico called “Morning Energy,” a collection of daily news items sponsored (daily) by America’s Natural Gas Alliance. Because I am a loyal subscriber, yesterday afternoon I (and every other loyal subscriber) received an invitation to a special event in Washington next month: “Energy & the Presidency: The Shift from Campaigning to Policymaking.” Hm.
Join POLITICO to break down the energy issues that have shaped the election and what they mean for the future of energy policy.
Here’s the invite I received:
Let’s walk through that list, shall we?
- Jack Gerard, head of the American Petroleum Institute
- Karen Harbert, from the Chamber of Commerce
- Jeff Holmstead, Bush-era EPA air pollution proponent and Romney adviser
- Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), opponent of vegetarianism and career recipient of over $159,000 in donations from the energy sector
- Sen. Joe Manchin (kinda D-W. Va.), who once shot the cap-and-trade bill for a campaign ad
- Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), opponent of climate action and career recipient of nearly $800,000 from electric utilities and the oil and gas sector
- Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), the sole actual advocate for addressing climate change
To its credit, Politico recognized that this thing was a little one-sided. So it put out an updated invite.
Perfect. Wouldn’t change a thing.
You’ll note that the event is sponsored by “American Wind Power,” which is actually AWEA, the American Wind Energy Association, a group that on the day of the event will be 46 days away from the expiration of a tax credit that could cripple its sector.
Could the group’s savvy investment in this well-tempered panel make the difference? No, no more than the freshman nerd offering to do the football team’s homework will make him popular. This event is a celebration of the entrenched status quo, as befits its Politico roots. What will be said at the event will be exactly what you expect: investment in extraction makes sense, elimination of the tax credit will force wind to compete on a level playing field. Udall and Beinecke will object, and King will join them (on the tax credit, at least). They will be overpowered; the audience will murmur and nod. At 2 p.m. on the dot, it will end. The status quo will have heard you, wind and renewables, and have decided in its own favor. AWEA and Politico will agree that turnout was great and start planning the next important session. The wind tax credit will expire a month and a half later.
In other words, Politico, I’m going to RSVP “no.”