The purpose of AEE Action Fund is to inject the business voice of advanced energy into the political debate. As a bipartisan PAC focused primarily on state-level activity, the fund helps elect candidates who will champion advanced energy while in office.
AEE Action Fund had a successful 2016 both helping elect candidates and influencing legislation in our targeted states. Here are some of the highlights from the past year:
AEE Action Fund’s fundraising efforts generated $57,920 in revenue in 2016, which increased the total amount raised during the 2015-16 election cycle to more than $118,000. By comparison, the PAC had never raised more than $35,000 in a previous election cycle.
2016 Election Strategy and Activity
AEE Action Fund focused on legislative elections in Illinois and Michigan. Working with allied groups, AEE Action Fund chose these states due to ongoing legislative debates that could drive new opportunity for advanced energy market growth:
- In Michigan, the legislature was considering a comprehensive energy package that vastly reshapes the regulatory environment in the state. Our allies were primarily focused on three policy proposals within the comprehensive package: extending and expanding the RPS, expanding and extending energy efficiency programs, and ensuring a competitive market where third party providers could compete for 50% of all new in-state generation.
- Illinois was also considering comprehensive energy legislation. The focus of the policy debate in the state centered on expanding in-state renewable energy generation, extending and expanding the state’s EERS, and increasing the current spending cap on efficiency programs.
In both states, AEE Action Fund used its resources at strategic moments to help the issues impacting the advanced energy industry breakthrough in the legislative debate. We targeted donations to those in leadership, or on relevant committees, with the intention of raising the issues to the forefront of key decision makers.
While we can’t draw a direct line between our strategy and the final legislation in each of these states we do know that our effort opened doors that had been otherwise closed and, that we won on five of the six priorities described above (save the 50% split in Michigan).
The 2016 Elections: AEE Action Fund’s Activity & Results
The 2016 electoral strategy was less about changing the partisan makeup of a legislative body and more about building access and influence with key decision makers. In total, we contributed $21,500 to candidates and leadership committees in Illinois and Michigan.
While the electoral results were mixed, these contributions allowed AEE Action Fund to deliver value to our allies overall strategy in these two states.
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