American Association of Blacks in Energy

American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE)


The American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) was formed in 1977 by Clarke A. Watson in what it described as a “response to our nation’s energy crisis.” When the new administration formed a task force to address the 1973 oil embargo, AABE‘s founding members found that it neglected to include representation from persons of colour. [1], [6], [7]

“This group of African American professionals formed the American Association of Blacks in Energy to ensure that minorities who had knowledge and understanding of U.S. energy issues could bring their thinking to bear on the development of energy and environmental policy,” The AABE‘s 2009/2010 biennial report notes. It adds that the AABE‘s mission continues to be ensuring “African Americans and other minorities have a voice in ongoing energy policy debates.” [1]

AABE hosts regular events to “educate people about energy issues and the impact that energy policies has on our communities.” According to AABE, their goal is to offer “policy decision makers on national, state, and local levels the information they need to better understand the impacts of energy policy on minority and low income communities.” [1]

It does this through building coalitions which “increase our visibility, recognition, and impact on the public policy process.” AABE‘s board members and leadership includes representation from across the energy industry, including executives from companies such as Duke Energy, Chevron, Southern Company, ExxonMobil, Exelon, Ameren, and many others. [1]

Stance on Climate Change


While AABE does appear to address climate change as a serious concern, AABE still promotes the development of oil, natural gas, and coal. Below are some points from its “Fossil Energy Principles” document: [19]

AABE supports a balanced energy portfolio approach for the United States, which includes the development all fossil energy (e.g., oil, natural gas, coal) reserves in a manner which can create jobs and spur economic development especially in historically underserved communities. “

“Clean Coal” is listed among technologies that AABE supports:

AABE recognizes that there is no silver bullet for addressing environmental issues. A wide array of technologies and policy options must be pursued, including clean coal standards.”

It also supports natural gas as a so-called “bridge fuel”:

AABE recognizes the expanded use of natural gas as a potential bridge fuel between today’s fossil energy demands and future clean technology advances.”


A “Climate Change Principles” (PDF) document from the AABE website says that “AABE supports GHG reduction policies which do not result in net negative impact on jobs, trade balances, and the cost of goods and services over the long term.” A similar version of the document was adopted by the AABE Board of Directors in April of 2013 (.doc). [2], [3]

Primary “principles” listed in the document are reproduced below:

  1. AABE supports mechanisms to achieve cost-effective GHG reductions and recognizes that market mechanisms such as cap & trade, tax, a mixture, or other approaches are currently being discussed.
  2. AABE supports the inclusion of all sectors of the economy and all sources of GHG in initiatives to reduce GHG emissions.
  3. AABE supports consistency of GHG regulatory compliance timetables with expected development and deployment of needed technologies.
  4. AABE supports policies that balance environmental improvements with economic development.
  5. AABE supports policies that ensure that low- and fixed-income consumers do not shoulder a disproportionate impact as a result of efforts to address GHG emissions.
  6. AABE supports cost containment measures designed to minimize the impact of the cost of compliance with GHG on low income consumers.
  7. AABE supports policies that do not result in negative impact on jobs, trade balances, and the cost of goods and services.
  8. AABE recognizes that there is no silver bullet for addressing the GHG issue. Options that must be pursued include but are not limited to the development, commercialization, and deployment of:
    1. Advanced clean coal technologies,
    2. Carbon capture and storage,
    3. Advanced nuclear energy generation,
    4. Energy efficiency, and
    5. Renewable energy technologies.
  9. AABE supports fostering public-private partnerships for increasing research, development, and deployment in:
    1. Technologies aimed at reducing GHG emissions,
    2. Hydrogen fuel technology,
    3. Conventional hybrid vehicles,
    4. Plug-in hybrid vehicles,
    5. Vehicle-to-grid technologies, and
    6. Electric vehicles.
    7. AABE recognizes the importance of CAFÉ standards in achieving higher fuel economy and efficiency in vehicles.
    8. AABE supports the use of alternative fuels and the development of the needed infrastructure to facilitate the transition to new technologies utilizing alternative fuels.”


A 2004 report prepared by Redefining Progress for the AABE and Redefining Progress concluded the following: [4]

“Climate change disproportionately affects the health, economic and social well-being of African Americans. Changes in the Earth’s atmosphere are occurring due to the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Power plants account for 38% of the most prevalent greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, emitted from fossil fuel use in the U.S. Warming of the planet, together with more drought conditions in some regions and flooding in other regions, could induce crop failures, famines, flooding and other environmental, economic and social problems (Miller and Brown, 2000). In some regions, global climate change is also expected to exacerbate existing problems such as ozone formation and air pollution (Hansen, 2000). The potential health impacts of climate change include increased prevalence of infectious disease such as Dengue fever and West Nile virus, more heat-related stress and illness, and higher levels of ozone smog (EPA, 2001; IPCC, 2001). The African American community is particularly vulnerable to these.”  [4]


The following is according to data collected by Conservative Transparency combined with original research of public 990 forms by DeSmog. [5]

View the attached spreadsheet for details on ABBE funding by year (.xlsx). [5]

YearAmerican Natural Gas AllianceAmerican Petroleum InstituteExxon MobilEdison Electric InstituteGrand Total
2001  $5,000 $5,000
2009   $25,000$25,000
2010  $20,000$10,000$30,000
2011$5,000$10,000$20,000 $35,000
2012 $10,000$40,000$25,000$75,000
2013 $10,000$40,000$10,000$60,000
2014 $10,000 $15,000$25,000
2015 $20,000$20,000$25,000$65,000
2016 $10,000 $30,000$40,000
Grand Total$5,000$70,000$145,000$140,000$360,000

Energy Industry Donors

According to AABE‘s 2009/2010 Biennial Report, donors that year included the following corporations, divided by category based on donation size: [1]

Chairman ($100,000+)

President ($50,000 – $99,999)

Donors Benefactors ($10,000 – $24,999)

Patrons ($2,500 – $9,999)

Leaders ($500- $2,499)

  • Andrews Kurth LLC
  • Atlanta Chapter
  • Birmingham Chapter
  • Centerpoint Energy
  • Columbus Chapter
  • EMC2
  • EnerGreen Capital Management, LLC
  • Indiana Chapter
  • Kansas City Chapter
  • Trice Construction
  • Washington Gas
  • Western Region AABE
  • Wipro Technologies

990 Forms

Key People


Arnetta McRaeY 
Paula R. Glover Y

Board of Directors

George Williams YYYYYYYYPMI Energy Solutions
Paul White  YYYYYYYNational Renewable Energy Laboratory
Ralph Cleveland  YYYYYYYCed Group
Kevin Brookins    YYYYYExelon/ComEd
Lisa Cagnolatti    YYYYYSouthern California Edison
Lonnie Johnson    YYYYYExxonMobil
Michael Suggs    YYYYYNorthern Indiana Public Service Company
Richard Thigpen    YYYYYPSEG
Rose McKinney-James    YYYYYEnergy Works Consulting, LLC& Associates.
Telisa Toliver     YYYYChevron Pipeline Company
W. Noble Billingsley     YYYYConsumers Energy
Rudolph Wynter, Jr.      YYYNational Grid
Kevon Makell       YYSEWW Incorporated
Melvin Williams       YYNicor Gas
Moanica Caston       YYGeorgia Power Company
Wyman Winbush       YYIBM
David Wade        YAir BP
Dwain Lanier        YTennessee Valley Authority
Melody Birmingham-Byrd        YDuke Indiana
Milovan Blair        YConsolidated Edison of New York
Morry C. Davis          YRed Tail Capital Markets, LLC
Vicky Bailey        YBHMM Energy Services, LLC
Carolyn L. GreenYYYYYYYY Professional Environmental Engineers, LLC
Hilda Pinnix-RaglandYYYYYYYY Duke Energy
Joyce Hayes-GilesYYYYYYYY DTE Energy (retired)
Stephanie Hickman   YYYYY Trice Construction Company
Morry Davis    YYYY Peabody Energy Corp.
Sabrina V. Campbell    YYYY American Electric Power
Wayonyi J. Kendrick    YYYY JEA
David Owens  YYYYY  Edison Electric Institute
Warner Williams   YYYY  Gulf of Mexico Business Unit (retired); Chevron North America Exploration and Production Company
Frank Stewart Y  YYY  F.M. Stewart & Associates
Bentina Chisolm Terry    YYY  Gulf Power Company
Daniel Packer    YYY  American Ethane Company
Rudolph Wynter     Y   National Grid
Polly S. Rosemond YYYY    Entergy New Orleans, Inc.
Wilton CedenoYYYY     Consolidated Edison Company
Tracie BoutteYYYY     New Orleans Entergy
Frank JohnsonYYYY     CMS Electric & Gas Co.
Daniel F. PackerYYYY     Entergy Services, Inc.
Robert L. Harris YYY     Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Marion R. Brackett YYY     KeySpan Energy
Rufus Gladney YYY     Consumers Energy
Charles Tinker  YY     DTE Energy
Richard L. Holmes  YY     Georgia Power Company
Robert Holmes  YY     Alabama Power Company
Gerald Dawes   Y     American Gas Association
LaDoris (Dot) Harris   Y     GE Energy
Sonja Ebron YY      blackEnergy
Ulysses Rice YY       
Garry Harris  Y      HTS Enterprise, LLC
George Lyons  Y      Exelon Corporation
Colin Watson, Sr.  Y      Foundation Enterprises, LLC
Berlinda Fontenot-JamersonYY       Sempra Energy
Erskine E. CadeYY       Key Corporation
James K. DavisYY       Georgia Power Company
Paul FantYY       South Carolina Pipeline Corp.
Barrett HatchesYY       Northern Indiana Public Service Co.
Rufus W. McKinneyYY       Rufus McKinney & Associates
Herman MorrisYY       Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division
Paula Jackson Y        
Syl Morgan-Smith Y       National Renewable Energy Lab
Hiliary O. Shelton Y       National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Rufus D. GladneyY        Consumers Energy
Gwendolyn D. PrioleauY        Gwendolyn D. Prioleau, Chartered
Leandra H. AbbottY        Consolidated Edison Company
Herman S. Dorsey, Jr.Y        Consolidated Edison Company
Gilbert F. IveyY        The Metropolitan Water District
Bobbie KnightY        Alabama Power Company
Bennie F. PaigeY        Entergy Mississippi
John R. SmithY        Public Service Electric & Gas
Clarke R. WatsonY        Watson Associates
H.C. “Will” WilliamsY        ONEOK, Inc.

AABE Staff

LaKeesha WilsonYYYYYExecutive Assistant
Pauline St. CyrYYYYYOffice Manager
Tracey Woods YYYYVice President Operations
Felicia Kelly  YYYMembership Specialist 
Paula R. Glover   YYPresident and CEO
D’An Hagan    YDirector of Business Develpment
Paula JacksonYYY  President and CEO
Marc Morgan YY  Vice President of Business Development
Sam Smoots Y   Executive Director, AABE Institute
Frank M. StewartY    President and CEO

Charter Presidents

Andrea Pelt-ThorntonYYYFLORIDANextEra Energy/ Florida Power and Light
Demetric MercadelYYYLOUISIANAEntergy New Orleans, Inc.
Eric DuncanYYYSAVANNAHGeorgia Power Company
Eric PickettYYYGULF COASTGulf Power Company (FPC), One Energy Place
Fannie Posey-EddyYYYDENVER 
Jennefer WhisenhuntYYYBIRMINGHAMSouthern Natural Gas
Jim Vickers, Jr.YYYCINCINNATIBusiness Technical Services
Joe McCormick IVYYYOKLAHOMAONEOK Distribution
Lloyd DugganYYYCONNECTICUTYankee Gas Services Company
Perry BishopYYYWISCONSIN We-Energies
Terry L MaloneYYYNORTHEAST OHIONortheast Ohio AABE
Vyrone CravanasYYYEAST TENNESSEEEqual Opportunity Compliance, AABE East Tennessee Chapter
William SuggsYYYNEW YORK METROPOLITANConsolidated Edison Company of NY
Calvin Ledford Jr. YYNEW JERSEYPSE&G
Carla Walker-Miller YYMICHIGANWalker Miller Energy Services, LLC.
Chris Odom YYHOUSTONSanchez Oil & Gas, AABE Houston Chapter
Crystal Williams-French YYINDIANANiSource
Debbie Lumpkin YYCALIFORNIALumpkin LLC
Jeff Washington YYVIRGINIADominion Resources Services – OJRP
Phyllis Batson YYALAMO REGIONCPS Energy
Richard P. Johnson (Porter) YYSOUTH CAROLINAAABE – South Carolina Chapter 
Sherri P. Pennington YYPHILADELPHIAPhiladelphia Gas Works
Stacey Barnes YYSOUTH JERSEYSouth Jersey Industries
Thomas H. Graham YYWASHINGTON DC METROPOLITANPepco Holdings, Inc.
Troy Clark YYSOUTHEAST LOUISIANAGolden Leaf Energy
Valencia A. McClure YYBALTIMOREExelon Corporation
William Johnson YYKANSASMISSOURIKansas City Board of Public Utilities
Jimmie Coins  YMISSISSIPPIAtmos Energy
Leslie Palmore  YCOLUMBUSGround Level Solutions
Shirell Harrison Burris  YNORTH CAROLINA 
Terron Hill, Director  YGreater Boston ChapterNational Grid
Angela MontvilleYY COLUMBUSNiSource, Inc.
Jean JacobsYY MISSISSIPPIEntergy Mississippi Inc.
Glenn FreemanY  ARKANSASEntergy
Rodney J. RussellY  ATLANTAAABE-Atlanta Chapter; Georgia Power
Daniel WallaceY  BALTIMOREBithEnergy
David FordY  CALIFORNIASouthern California Edison
Terry StringerY  HOUSTONAABE Houston
Rita BoydY  KANSASMISSOURIKansas City Power & Light Co.
Darrell WhiteY  MICHIGANDTE Energy
Gerald K. FreemanY  SOUTH CAROLINAAABE – South Carolina Chapter; SC Electric & Gas
John RaifordY  SOUTH JERSEYSouth Jersey Gas
Drexel HarrisY  VIRGINIADominion Resources
Lisa BealY  WASHINGTON DC METROPOLITANInterstate Natural Gas Association of America

Regional Directors

Nancy Mifflin  YYYMIDATLANTIC REGIONEnegy Sectors, CSC
Amanda Downey    YNORTHEAST REGIONNational Grid
Deidre Sanders    YWESTERN REGIONPacific Gas and Electric
LaQuisha Parks     YSOUTHEAST REGIONDuke Energy
Vida Hotchkiss    YMIDWEST REGIONNicor Gas/ AGLR
Afarah Board YYY WESTERN REGIONSouthern California Edison
Demetric Mercadel  YY LOUISIANAEntergy New Orleans, Inc.
Eric Arnold  YY SOUTHEAST REGIONGeorgia Power
Willilam Suggs  YY NORTHEAST REGIONConsolidated Edison
Corlene WilliamsYY   SOUTHEAST REGIONSouthern Natural Gas Pipeline Service Co.
W. Noble Billingsley Y    Consumers Energy
William Suggs Y   NEW YORK METROPOLITANConsolidated Edison Company of NY
Dianne P. Oliver Y   MIDATLANTIC REGIONNational Council of Minorities in Energy
Telisa N. Toliver Y   SOUTHWEST REGIONChevron Global Power Company
Debra SmallwoodY    MIDATLANTIC REGIONConsolidated Edison
Calvin TalleyY    MIDWEST REGIONConsumers Energy
Gilda JosephY    SOUTHWEST REGIONChevron Texaco Overseas Petroleum
Kirsten WattsY    WESTERN REGIONBonneville Power Administration
Rodney O. PowellY    NORTHEAST REGIONWestern Massachusetts Electric Co.


March 21-24, 2017

The AABE 2017 National Conference attracted representatives from across the energy generation industry. AABE Speakers included representatives from Southern Company, Duke Energy, Cehvron, BP, ExxonMobil, and many others. Jack Gerard of the American Petroluem Institute was notably listed among the speakers list. [8]

One of the most notable sponsors of the conference is a group called Fueling U.S. Forward (FUSF), a group that has consistently worked to promote fossil fuels. The FUSF campaign was first noted in a February, 2016 investigative journalism piece in The Huffington Post that had trakced a $10-million-a-year effort by Koch Industries board member James Mahoney and Charles Drevna to “to boost petroleum-based transportation fuels and attack government subsidies for electric vehicles.” [9]

Fueling US Forward was a sponsor of two panels including a panel of “Women in Power” and another titled “Conversation with the C-Suite.” Other industry groups who sponsored panels at the event include: [10]

Below is a sample of attendees at the conference, sorted by energy company affiliation. View the attached spreadsheet for a full list of AABE attendees and Speakers, as of March 17, 2017 (xlsx). [11]

CompanyRepresentatives at Conference (Approximate #)
National Grid27
Duke Energy19
Consolidated Edison18
Pepco Holdings16
Southern Company16
Georgia Power16
Tennessee Valley Authority9
CPS Energy9
Constellation Energy9
Consumers Energy7
Public Service Electric & Gas7
Pacific Gas & Electric Company6
Bonneville Power Administration6
Burns & McDonnell6

Other notable companies represented by attendees at the conference include American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), BP, TransCanada, and the American Petroleum Institute (API).

June 2016

The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) reports that The American Association of Blacks in Energy was among a range of groups listed in bankruptcy documents released by Peabody Coal. [12]

The documents “demonstrate for the first time that Peabody Energy has financial ties to a very large proportion of the network of groups promoting disinformation around climate change,” CMD reported. [12]

February 26-27, 2015

Partnering with HIE (Hispanics in Energy), AABE hosted the “2015 Energy Policy Summit” in Washington, DC. [13]

According to the description on the HIE website, the outcome of the summit would be a “post-summit report to be shared with key legislators, policy officials and the administration.” [14]

January 31–February 1, 2013

AABE held a policy summit at the Heritage Center of the United States Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. According to the event description, the summit “focused on three significant economic factors facing underserved communities — mitigation of rising energy costs, increasing opportunities for minority-owned small business and new jobs creation. [15]

View the final report of the AABE‘s 2013 summit here (PDF). [16]

Summit Sponsors, listed in the post-summit report, included the following:

January 28, 2010 

AABE held an event, with its partners, titled “Energy and Climate Change Summit: Implications and Economic Opportunities.” [17]

According to a report summarizing the comments and discussion at the conference, the summit’s primary subject was “Protecting and creating opportunities for ‘low- and fixed-income communities and people of color’, and advocating on behalf of the interests of vulnerable communities.” [17]

The conference attracted “100 of the nation’s leading organizations representing civil rights and nongovernmental organizations (NGO’s)” with attendees including House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn; Carol Browner, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, and Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy; and Chris Miller, Senior Policy Advisor, Energy and the Environment, Office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  [17]

Summit organizers were listed as follows:  [17]

Summit Sponsors listed included:  [17]

The event led to a draft “Statement of Principles for Energy and Climate Change Policy.” The statement suggested “any energy and climate program must include” the following: [17]

  • “Measures to reduce and mitigate the impact of costs on low- and fixed-income consumers;
  • “Policies that create jobs and ensure small business opportunities for minorities in the energy and clean technology sectors, including federal and state incentives and requirements to promote diversity in hiring, procurement, contracting and access to capital.
  • “Education and training programs to prepare minorities for careers and business ownership in the array of services and technologies necessary to develop and deliver cleaner, more diverse, domestic energy sources.
  • “Public awareness and outreach initiatives aimed at developing energy efficiency and conservation programs for minority and low- and fixed-income communities, thereby lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
  • “Resources and incentives for vulnerable communities to help them adapt to climate change impacts and transition to lower-carbon economies, while ensuring environmental justice protections.”

February 2004

AABE released a report titled “Energy, Economics, and the Environment: Effects of African Americans” (PDF), prepared by Redefining Progress. [4]

According to the report’s executive summary, “ African Americans are significantly more vulnerable than the general population to several factors.” Climate change is among factors listed, as the report says that “African Americans are likely to be more significantly affected by some of the detrimental health effects of global climate change such as the increased incidence of heat-related deaths or possibly some communicable diseases.” [4]

The report lists “ Potential Environmental and Health Effects of the Oil Industry,” listing “Global warming and extreme weather events, with associated impacts on agriculture, infrastructure, and human health” as an impact of the “combustion” stage of fossil fuels. [4]

AABE maintains state chapters across the United States. [20]

Prominent board members of AABE represent a range of energy companies. In its 2010 conference, AABE made mention of its partners, “the Stakeholders,” however did not outline specifically who those stakeholders were. [17]

Contact & Address

As of March, 2017, AABE listed the following contact information on their website: [18]

1625 K St. NW, Ste. 405
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 371-9530
(202) 371-9218
[email protected]

Social Media


  1. “American Association of Blacks in Energy Biennial Report 2009/2010” (PDF), AABE. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  2. AABE Climate Change Principles” (PDF), American Association of Blacks in Energy. Document created February 11, 2008. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  3. AABE Climate Change Principles” (.doc), April, 2013. Retrieved from Archived .doc on file at Desmog. 
  4. “Energy, Economics, and the Environment: Effects on African Americans” (PDF), AABE and Redefining Progress. Retrieved from Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  5. American Association of Blacks in Energy,” Conservative Transparency. Archived March 17, 2017. URL:
  6. About Us,” The American Association of Blacks in Energy. Archived March 21, 2017. URL:
  7. Rufus W. McKinney. “AABE History,” American Association of Blacks in Energy, May 1994. Archived March 21, 2017. URL:
  8. AABE 2017 NATIONAL CONFERENCE: MAKING ENERGY WORK FOR US: Speakers” Archived March 20, 2017. URL:
  9. Peter Stone. “The Kochs Are Plotting A Multimillion-Dollar Assault On Electric Vehicles,” The Huffington Post, February 19, 2016. URL
  11. AABE 2017 NATIONAL CONFERENCE: MAKING ENERGY WORK FOR US,” Accessed March 20, 2017. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  12. Peabody Coal Bankruptcy Reveals Climate Denial Network Funding, The Centre for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch, June 13, 2016. Archived March 20, 2017. URL:
  13. (Press Release). “The American Association Of Blacks In Energy Convenes National Leaders For A 2-Day Energy Policy Summit In Washington, DC,” The American Association of Blacks in Energy VIA PR Newswire, December 21, 2014. Archived March 20, 2017. URL:
  14. AABE 2015 Energy Policy Summit,” Hispanics in Energy, February 2, 2015. Archived March 20, 2017. URL: 
  15. Energy Summit,” AABE, Archived March 20, 2017. URL:
  16. AABE Energy Policy summit: Post Summit Report” (PDF), American Association of Blacks in Energy, January 31 – Feb 1, 2013. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.
  17. “Report from the AABE Energy and Climate Change Summit: Implications and Economic Opportunities” (PDF), AABE, January 28, 2010. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  18. Contact Form,The American Association of Blacks in Energy. Archived March 20, 2017. URL
  19. AABE Fossil Energy Principles” (PDF), The American Association of Blacks in Energy, January 23, 2013 (Document Creation Date). Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  20. Chapter Presidents,” AABE. Archived March 21, 2017. URL:

Other Resources


Related Profiles

APCO Worldwide Background APCO has been described as “one of the world's most powerful PR firms.” [1], [2] According to its agency profile at O'Dwyers, “APCO Worldwide is a...
Hugh W. Ellsaesser Credentials Ph.D., Meteorology. [1] Background Hugh W. Ellsaesser, born in 1920, is a meteorologist by training and retired “guest scientist” at the Lawren...
Alfred (Al) Pekarek Credentials Ph.D., University of Wyoming (1974). [1]B.A. University of Minnesota-Twin (1965). [1] Background Alfred (Al) Pekarek is a former ass...
Benny Josef Peiser Credentials Ph.D. , University of Frankfurt (1993). Peiser studied political science, English, and sports science. [1], [2] Background Benny Peiser is a sports ...