Some of the nation’s largest green-energy interest groups and companies spent millions of dollars lobbying in favor of the Inflation Reduction Act, the massive climate and tax bill President Biden signed in August.
Trade groups including the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), American Clean Power Association (ACP), and Growth Energy reported spending hundreds of thousands of dollars over the summer lobbying for the legislation, according to third-quarter lobbying disclosures released late last week. [bold, links added]
Additionally, major electric vehicle (EV), solar panel, and wind turbine makers also reported lobbying efforts for the bill.
“With the stroke of the pen, a clean energy future is now the law of the land,” ACP Heather Zichal said in a statement after Biden signed the bill on Aug. 16.
The SEIA, which is the nation’s largest solar industry group, also issued a fact sheet listing the biggest misconceptions about the legislation.
In late July, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced he would introduce the Inflation Reduction Act and had struck a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., after months of negotiations. The bill passed the House and Senate along party lines in August.
The $739 billion legislation, which multiple analyses showed would increase inflation in the near term, included $369 billion in climate programs backed by the green energy lobby.
It included tens of billions of dollars in clean energy incentives and up to $300 billion for loan-guarantee programs.
In the third quarter, the period between July and September, SEIA spent $460,000, ACP spent $320,000, biofuels trade group Growth Energy spent $480,000, and top EV groups Electric Drive Transportation Association and Zero Emission Transportation Association spent another $140,000 on lobbying efforts.
All the groups listed the Inflation Reduction Act under specific lobbying issues they devoted resources toward.
“It will always remain fascinating to me that going green is so expensive,” Daniel Turner, the executive director of Power The Future, told FOX Business in an interview.
“We keep hearing about how wind is free, how solar is free, how these renewable technologies are necessary because of climate change, but how ultimately they are free and no cost.”
“Yet, whenever government announces that they’re spending trillions of dollars, someone is going to get very rich,” he continued. “That’s just how D.C. works. That’s how government spending works. Someone has a vested interest in those trillions of dollars. These green groups — it’s no surprise at all that they would spend millions lobbying to ensure that they get their piece of the pie.”
Green industry companies similarly reported lobbying in support of the Inflation Reduction Act in the third quarter.
For example, renewable energy firm NextEra Energy, one of the largest utility companies in North America, spent more than $1.9 million lobbying between June and September.
The company listed the Inflation Reduction Act as one of the topics it focused lobbying efforts on.
“There are significant manufacturing incentives that really, I think, will help us to re-domesticate the supply chain here in three to four years to the U.S.,” NextEra Energy CEO John Ketchum said last month, according to S&P Global.
Ketchum added that his company was “well-positioned” to take advantage of the legislation’s billions-of-dollars worth of incentives.
Tesla CFO Zachary Kirkhorn told investors last week that the company was also well-positioned to take advantage of the bill’s provisions.
Tesla and fellow EV maker Ford reported lobbying nearly $2 million altogether last quarter on issues including the Inflation Reduction Act.
Additionally, Chinese solar panel maker JinkoSolar lobbied for tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act, spending $90,000 over the summer, while green energy firm Siemens Energy, renewable energy developer SOLV Energy, and wind turbine manufacturer Vestas-American Wind Technology spent $280,000, $120,000 and $80,000 respectively.
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