Customers Shouldn’t be Paying for Utility Political Activities
Utilities are using OUR money to lobby and delay the clean energy transition
Why It Matters
Electric utilities spent more than $113 million in 2021 alone lobbying the federal government. Each year, they spend millions more lobbying state governments and still tens of thousands more in supporting the national trade association representing them in Washington, DC. In most states, customers are paying these costs -- not shareholders. Too often, utilities and their associations are trying to slow the transition to clean energy or are outright opposing climate action. For example, both Dominion and Duke Energy (two of the largest utilities in the Southeast) have asked for customers to pay dues for participation in the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has advocated for doing away with renewable energy and energy efficiency policies at the state and federal levels. Utilities across America are charging political and lobbying costs to consumers. Put simply, we are paying for political activities that benefit the utility and their shareholders, not customers.
What’s the Solution?
Just this year, Colorado, Connecticut and Maine have adopted laws prohibiting utilities from paying for political activities. While states can lead the way in reigning in this utility spending, there is a pathway for federal action that would largely address this problem nationwide. Reps. Kathy Castor (D-FL), Sean Casten (D-IL), and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) introduced a bill in Congress to make this a federal law.
What Can I Do?
Take action today and ask your member of Congress to support this bill.