“Your Energy America” Front Group Pushing Atlantic Coast Pipeline Has Koch Ties


A ne?wly-launched front group that is aggressively pushing ?????the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Virginia is tied to the Koch funding network.

Steve Horn of DeSmog (which publishes KochvsClean.com) reports the connections between the Koch network, through the PR company DDC Advocacy to “Your Energy America” and “Your Energy Virginia,” the front group pushing the Dominion Resources-owned pipeline which has become a major issue in the Virginia gubernatorial election.

Your Energy America” is a newly formed front group pushing Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline. By tracing hosting information for the group’s website, DeSmog has found evidence pointing to the PR firm behind the group: DDC Advocacy, which has known ties to the Republican Party. 

Short for Democracy, Data & Communications, DDC‘s founding partner, chairman, and CEOB.R. McConnon in the past “has acted as a key contact and spokesperson for [National Federation for Independent Business],” according to his LinkedIn. NFIB takes funding from Koch Industries and other major corporate interests, and McConnon began his career as a policy analyst for the Koch-founded Citizens for a Sound Economy, the precursor to Americans for Prosperity

“Your Energy” was launched in the heat of the Virginia gubernatorial primary races and is run by the American Gas Association.

DDC, as the piece explains, was founded by a former Koch functionary. The firm has been on the cutting edge and a pioneer of online “grassroots” campaigns, as it calls it, better known to its critics as “astroturf” campaigns. Among other things, the piece includes a discovered copy of DDC’s client list, which includes American Petroleum Institute, Dominion, Edison Electric Institute, BP and many others.

Further evidence that DDC is behind “Your Energy” was provided by an attendant of a Chamber of Commerce event:

A source who requested anonymity and attended the Chamber of Commerce event told DeSmog, he saw Ryan Lowry, DDC’s Vice President of Client Relations, wearing a Your Energy Virginia name badge at the event. DDC has played a pioneering role in pushing web-centric “astroturf” public relations campaigns, which it calls “grassroots.”

DDC has also done website work for Koch groups in the past. As Horn reported:

DDC is an Associate Member of Edison Electric Institute (EEI), a lobbying and advocacy wing of the electric utilities industry which has paid DDC over $1.8 million to do public relations work since 2012, according to U.S. Internal Revenue Services (IRS) tax forms. According to a list of web domains hosted by DDC and obtained by ThinkProgress in 2009, the Koch Industries political affairs committee, KochPAC — as well as several tobacco companies — have websites hosted by DDC.

Read the whole post here.