Under President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team for energy, California could likely see a regression in renewable power projects, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.
Koch Industries lobbyist Thomas Pyle is president of the Institute for Energy Research group, which has strong ties to the oil industry, and is also the president of the IER’s advocacy arm, American Energy Alliance. The Koch network gave Pyle’s groups $3 million in 2015, which in turn pressured politicians to cut back on policies that promoted renewable energy, reports the LA Times.
AEA promotes free-market energy policies and, on its website, argues that Obama’s Clean Power Plan will fail to provide affordable energy and a healthy environment.
California has been at the forefront of renewable energy and is ahead of schedule for meeting the Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements with help from the federal government. The California Energy Commission, in its 2016 report, estimates that about 26 percent of its electricity retail sales in 2015 were served by renewable energy generated from sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and small hydroelectric.
“It is inevitable with the Koch brothers already showing they have so much influence in this administration, that it will do everything in its power to inhibit the growth of renewables,” Bryan Miller, a lobbyist for green-energy firms, told the LA Times.