Friday, April 25, 2008

Ssssshhhh.....we're lobbying....

The Califronia Clean Energy Fund put out a press release this week trumpeting the formation of the "Center for Innovation and Stability," which CalCEF explains is "a new public policy arm created to address critical issues affecting the long-term transformation of the energy industry".

Basically, it looks like CalCEF has set up a lobbying arm and CalCEF VP Dan Adler has been promoted to run it. Adler is a former PUC staffer with experience on green energy, climate change, social responsibility, etc.

It makes perfect sense for CalCEF to take this step because it needs to protect its investments in green energy sector, which is more or less constantlly in play at the legilsative/regulatory level. However, I don't think I have ever read a more convoluted, circuitous press release in my life!

CalCEF goes out of its way to make the "Center for Innovation and Stability" sound like a think tank and not a lobby shop. The closest they come to actually describing what the Center will do is:

"The Center for Innovation and Sustainability will identify high-value points of intervention around key issues, seeking to become the “connective tissue” between participants in policy, technology and finance, and develop high-impact recommendations to the policy community. "

(It sounds like you're lobbying... it's ok you're a 501(c)4, you're allowed... just say it!)

I imagine some hapless PR flack cranked out the first draft of this release and sent it to his/her client for approval, then-- after 25 people weighed in with changes-- it came back in its current form, where the new venture is now described as "connective tissue." Good luck, Center for Innovation and Stability, you're going to need it!

CalCEF is a non-profit fund established out of the PG&E bankruptcy settlement that invests in "companies focusing on renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, and other products and services that are designed to enhance the clean energy sector".