Americans for Balanced Energy Choices

Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC)

Background

Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC) was formed in April 2000 “to provide a voice to community leaders in the development of energy and environmental policies.” [1]

Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC) and the Center for Energy and Economic Development (CEED) reportedly consolidated to form the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) in 2008. [2]

One year after ACCCE was formed, ABEC, which appeared to still be operating as a separate entity, sent out a mailer reporting it had changed its name again to “America’s Power Army.” The new name was taken “to be consistent with our advertising campaign, ‘America’s Power’ and the corresponding website, Americaspower.org.”  [3]

As of 2009, America’sPower.org described itself as “sponsored by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE).” The website commented on the launch of ACCCE: “ACCCE combines the assets and missions of the Center for Energy and Economic Development (CEED) and Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC).” [4]

Stance on Climate Change

October 31, 2007

Following an accusation from TreeHugger.com that ABEC hadn’t mentioned the issue of climate change, ABEC Executive Director Joe Lucas wrote a post in defense of his group, contending it had already addressed the topic in a New York Times Ad. Below is the full text of Lucas’s post, via Internet Archive. [5]

“This just in from treehugger.com… in referring to the new Americaspower.com campaign, they write: ‘Cheap, secure, local fuel and lots of it! Just don’t mention that climate change thing.’ I hate to bring this up… but I’m pretty sure we did.

“With a name like ‘tree hugger’ (and for the record I’ve hugged my share of trees) it’s not surprising that they have a definitive view of the how things should be if they were king. And in a perfect world, most of what they advocate seems hard to disagree with. However, we don’t have the luxury of dealing with how things should be, and are faced with the very real challenges of how things are.

“Fact: 50% of our electricity comes from coal and we need to invest in the technologies to use our most abundant energy resource as cleanly as possible. But I’m not here to argue that point today…

“Today’s post deals with this… how in the world can our ad be accused of not mentioning ‘that climate change thing’? Just read the next line from our New York Times ad very closely and judge for yourself…

“’We’re also investing in the development and deployment of technologies to capture and store CO2 — a greenhouse gas.’

“If treehugger.com needs more direct language than that in our ads we’re all ears. In fact, here’s everyone’s chance… how would you have directly addressed CO2 in our ad differently? I thought we did a great job, but maybe I’m wrong????”

Funding

A 2007 archive of AmericasPower.org noted that ABEC‘s primary funding comes from coal-powered energy companies: [6]

“Primary funding for ABEC’s outreach efforts come from America’s coal-based electricity providers.”

990 Forms

Key People

Name 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Description
Shelby Joe Lucas  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y Executive Director
Stephen L. Miller  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y President
Philip T. Klingelhofer  Y  Y  Y  Y Secretary/Treasurer
Dennis E. Welch  Y  Y Vice President
Ken A. Keylor  Y Vice President
Tom Hoffman  Y Vice President
Michael Porter  Y Vice President

Press Contacts

As of November 2007: [7]

National Media

Steve Gates
Senior Communications Director
SG[email protected]
703-302-1223 (direct), (703) 684-7473 (national office)

Cathy Coffey
Northeast Region Communications Director
CC[email protected]
703-302-1221 (direct), (703) 684-7473 (national office)

Southern Region
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas

Leah Arnold
South Region Communications Director
LA[email protected]
703-302-1222 (direct), (703) 684-7473 (national office)

Midwest Region
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin

Cullen West
Midwest Communications Director
CW[email protected]
703-302-1224 (direct), (703) 684-7473 (national office)

Western Region
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Brad Jones
Western Region Communications Director
BJ[email protected]
703-302-1226 (direct), (703) 684-7473 (national office)

Actions

January 2008

Americans for Balanced Energy Choices spent $1.3 million on targeted advertising to rally opposition to Congressional legislation aimed at reducing carbon emissions. The messaging, in the form of media ad buys and billboards in Nevada, Iowa, and South Carolina to coincide with Democratic party primary debates, were created for ABEC by the same PR company that launched the “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” marketing campaign. [8]

Activities also included hiring staffers to distribute materials outside presidential candidates debates. According to the Washington Post:

 “About 50 people, many of them paid, walked around as human billboards and handed out leaflets outside Tuesday’s Democratic debate in Nevada with questions for voters to ask the candidates.” [8]

ABEC’s marketing and lobbying efforts, funded in part from contributions from the National Mining Association, were designed to promote “clean coal” and weaken political pressure to close coal-fired power plants and place moratoriums on the construction of new ones. [8]

Related Organizations

Contact & Address

Contact information as of ABEC‘s 2008 990 filing:

Address: 333 John Carlyle Street, Suite 530, Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone: 703-684-7473

Social Media

Resources

  1. Who We Are,” AmericasPower.org. Archived November 4, 2007. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/Ms7vq

  2. New Multi-Industry Coalition Aligns to Advocate Energy Security and Environmental Stewardship,” BusinessWire, April 17, 2008. Archived August 1, 2017.

  3. APA News,” Spring 2009 issue. Archived with Archive.is.

  4. Who We Are,” Americaspower.org. Archived March 2, 2009. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/Ms7vq

  5. Joe Lucas. “Color Me Shocked,” America’s Power, October 31, 2007. Archived November 7, 2007. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/gfkus

  6. Who We Are,” AmericasPower.org. Archived November 4, 2007. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/Ms7vq

  7. Press Room,” America’s Power. Archived November 2, 2007. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/E8IXt

  8. Steven Mufson. “Coal Industry Plugs Into the Campaign,” The Washington Post, January 18, 2008. Archived December 12, 2018. Archive.is URL: http://archive.is/K2rAo

  9. APA News,” Spring 2009 issue. Archived with Archive.is.

  10. The ‘clean coal’ lobbying blitz,” The Center for Public Integrity, April 21, 2009. Archived June 8, 2013. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/A7lt6

Other Resources

  • “American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity,” Sourcewatch

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