With Federal Aid on the Table, Utilities Change to Embrace Climate Goals | Rare Techy
“I’ve spent a lot of time this past year flying in helicopters over hot spots,” said Mr. Biden told them, talking about the burning of wildfires, that he blamed in part on climate change. “There are more areas burned to the ground in the West Coast than the entire state of New Jersey for square miles,” he added. “It’s just amazing. It’s amazing.”
Mr. Biden told the gathering that he has realized that many of them in the past have not been ready to rally behind him, saying that when he was vice president during the administration of Obama is also pushing, in the face of industry opposition, for serious climate change action.
During that time, the utilities secretly paid millions of dollars to a law firm that filed a lawsuit on their behalf to block the Clean Power Plan, which was enacted during the Obama administration. They also contributed heavily to Republican attorneys general who passed their own legislation to overturn air pollution and climate laws.
Members of the EEI have, at times, organized their own overt, but covert, political efforts to block renewable energy mandates.
The owner of Arizona Public Service, the state’s largest electric utility, has secretly donated more than $10 million to help elect state regulators who will falsify new energy requirements that are criticized by each.
The company denied any involvement in the scheme for years, until the FBI opened an investigation. The company was sued and later admitted in 2019 that it had filed for bankruptcy.
But despite a history of opposition to clean-air regulations, the industry has in recent years abandoned coal, largely for economic reasons. The Southern Company, which serves 4.4 million electric utility customers in Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama, has long had one of the largest fleets of coal-burning power plants, and will fight hard against take care of them, including gifts to the depressed.