Another Renewable Energy Bashing Koch Network Alum Joins Department of Energy


Until February, Christine Harbin spent most of this decade combating clean energy initiatives at the state and federal level for Koch-funded organizations ALEC and Americans for Prosperity. She is now a senior adviser for external affairs in DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. Before joining a number of other Koch network alum in the Trump administration, Harbin served as  vice president of external affairs at Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-funded group with nearly three dozen active state chapters fight for conservative legislation at the state and national level. She had worked for Americans for Prosperity since 2012. Before that, she worked for a year at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Koch-funded and group that writes model legislation for state governments and cultivates relationships with state legislators through its meetings and summits in the interest of advancing “limited government, free markets, and federalism at the state level.” 

While working at AfP, Harbin often criticized the Obama administration’s clean energy policies, including the signature Clean Power Plan.

She also used her position in AfP’s national office to coordinate local “grassroots” groups in anti-wind power campaigns and messaging.  As David Anderson explained on the Energy and Policy Institute blog:

[I]t was Christine Harbin of the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity that organized a 2012 letter signed by a number of local anti-wind groups and national organizations backed by the Koch brothers, according to a document found on the website of one of the signers, Auglaize Neighbors United. Among the signers were AWED, Freedomworks, and the American Energy Alliance.

Evidence of Harbin’s coordination can be seen in the draft letter that was circulated to the local groups:

And the final product, which was signed by dozens of national and local groups and published online:

The DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, where Harbin now works, is charged with “[developing] new technologies to improve the infrastructure that brings electricity into our homes, offices, and factories, and the federal and state electricity policies and programs that shape electricity system planning and market operations. Under the Obama administration, this office focused greatly on electric grid reliability and promoting the “next generation” of transmission technology. If Harbin’s recent work history in Koch-funded organizations is any indication, she will use the office to promote fossil fuel generation as a sort of “cure all” for electric system reliability issues, and to bash wind and solar power as “unreliable.”