We have expanded the list of climate policies we assess company engagement with to incorporate land-use related policy, referring to legislative or regulatory measures to enhance and protect ecosystems and land where carbon is being stored. Assessments under this category are currently underweighted in terms of their contribution to the overall company metrics. This weighting will be progressively increased over the next 6 months.
We adjusted the terminology used to describe the queries running down the left-hand side of our scoring matrix and added additional explanatory text to the info-boxes. This has no impact on the scores and methodology. It has been done following user feedback to improve clarity.
Climate Lobbying Overview: The Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is negatively lobbying on US climate policy at the national and state level. While the group shows some support for clean technologies, such as offshore wind, it remains actively opposed to specific climate policies and measures to transition the energy mix, including early climate initiatives under the Biden administration.
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: While top-line communications from the Consumer Energy Alliance generally accept the science of climate change, as evident in one August 2021 tweet, it appears that the group continues to propagate climate science misinformation. For example, in June 2020, Common Dreams reported that CEA has provided funding to the Thomas Jefferson Institute, a separate organization which has disseminated material to undermine public understanding of climate science. In August 2020, CEA published a press release with potentially misleading communication on climate science - emphasizing that GHG emissions in various US states (such as Florida) have fallen while GDP has risen, while failing to mention that national CO2 emissions have increased from 1990 to 2017 (based on US Energy Information Administration figures).
In another tweet from May 2020, CEA used the threat of energy poverty to justify inaction on climate change. As of October 2021, the organization lacks a clear stance on the need for climate regulation, referencing on its website the need for public policy to consider emissions without offering further detail. In February 2021, a CEA press release referenced President Biden’s Executive Order to rejoin the Paris Agreement without stating support for the deal or related US ambition.
Engagement with Climate-Related Policy: Consumer Energy Alliance has opposed multiple strands of climate policy that attempt to reduce carbon emissions, such as carbon pricing initiatives. In February 2020, CEA submitted formal comments strongly criticizing the Transportation & Climate Initiative, a cap-and-invest scheme intended to reduce transport-related emissions. In May 2020, CEA supported the Minimum Offer Price Rule on Twitter, a rule under consideration by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission which challenges renewable energy subsidies and makes it more difficult for renewables to compete in energy markets. CEA has also actively opposed legislation that would establish GHG reduction targets, urging New York State legislators in June 2019 to oppose the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA), which would enact a target of 85% reduction in GHG emissions below 1990 levels by 2050, with an interim target of 40%. In October 2019, Desmog reported on CEA’s 2018 Facebook ad campaign which advocated for the rollback of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards.
Positioning on Energy Transition: Consumer Energy Alliance generally lobbies for policy measures that will sustain a high GHG emissions energy mix. The group appears to offer some support for clean energy technologies: for example, its website as of October 2021 suggests support for an increased proportion of wind energy in the energy mix. However, CEA opposed early moves under the Biden administration to revoke the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and enact a moratorium on new leases for oil and gas, as evident on its social media in January and March 2021, respectively. In October 2021, CEA on Twitter advocated for the importance of fossil fuels in a future energy mix (opposing campaigns that pressure banks to stop financing fossil fuels), a position that does not appear aligned with IPCC advice to phase out unabated fossil fuels.
CEA also appears highly active at the state level. As reported by Energy News Network, the group celebrated New Hampshire’s gas ban preemption law, a policy which mirrors those enacted in many other states which bars local municipalities from banning fossil gas use in buildings in the interest of building electrification. Similarly, CEA submitted comments to the Ohio legislature in June 2021 supporting HB201 which prohibits local governments from banning gas use in buildings; it also appeared before the Florida Commerce Committee Meeting in April 2021 to testify in support of Florida's HB Bill 0839, which prohibits local authorities from taking actions to prohibit the development of fuel retailers and related transportation infrastructure, such as gas stations, and from requiring fuel retailers to install or invest in particular fueling infrastructure. In January 2020, a CEA 702577 press release appeared to oppose the New Jersey Energy Master Plan, a roadmap intended to transition the state to 100% clean energy by 2050; the next month, CEA launched the Affordable Energy for New Jersey Coalition to oppose the EMP.