Image via AEA
Add another name onto the growing list of dubious groups rising to combat the effort for clean energy reform: the American Energy Alliance. It's touring the country with the tired 'nonpartisan' message that passing the climate bill would cripple the economy. But this one's got an exceptionally sleazy pedigree--it was founded by a think tank run by Robert Bradley, who's the ex-speechwriter for Enron.What's especially shady about the American Energy Alliance is its nondisclosure of its origins--at least the oil industry mainstay American Petroleum Institute was forthright about its sponsoring the 'Energy Citizen' rallies (or company picnics, depending on where you're standing ...). First, the group is hush hush about its being funded by the think tank Institute for Energy Research, which is helmed by Bradley. The climate change-denying think tank has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Exxon alone, and if that wasn't bad enough, Bradley was the speechwriter for Enron CEO Kenneth Lay--and has to this day expressed no qualms with shilling for the despicable man who shattered the lives of thousands.
Second, I placed 'nonpartisan' in quotes up in the first paragraph because though the American Energy Alliance claims to have no allegiance to any political party, literally every single one of its employees are ex House Republican staffers, as Climate Progress points out.
And now this group is driving around the country in a tour bus, called the "American Energy Express," on a campaign to halt progress on energy reform. What they're doing is completely legal. But a group that's funded by a climate change-denying think tank (which is in turn funded by Exxon) and staffed entirely by GOP operatives, can hardly be said to have 'no political allegiance.' And their message, which is in favor of protecting oil and coal interests, must be taken with a grain of salt (at the very least).