The Energy Equality Coalition was launched with the express purpose of fighting the federal EV tax credit, and the organization has a number of ties to the Koch network.
The EEC launched in late 2015, with the EV tax credit immediately in its crosshairs, and the group features a slogan that bashes electric cars as being “Built by Billionaires, Bought by Millionaires…and subsidized by the rest of us.”
The Energy Equality Coalition was launched as an offshoot of Frontiers of Freedom, an Exxon and Koch-funded front group run by George Landrith, who also serves on the EEC Board of Directors. When EEC launched in late 2015, Landrith told the Weekly Standard:
Working-class people are paying taxes to subsidize luxury goods for the richest among us. That’s wrong and needs to stop. So we’re launching the Energy Equality Coalition to raise awareness about this imbalance and end the subsidy behind it. We believe there should be energy equality, not special treatment for the wealthy.”
While running Frontiers of Freedom, Landrith launched and now serves as Treasurer on EEC’s Board of Directors. According to Greenpeace researchers, Frontiers of Freedom received at least $335,000 from Koch foundations between 1997 and 2015.
The Energy Equality Coalition is also registered to an entity called North Rock Reports, LLC., which itself was set up by a Washington D.C. law firm to create “untraceable pressure groups for conservative causes.”
The EEC’s director is David Williams, who also serves as President of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, which has been described as “an advocacy front group that is part of the Koch political network, and is largely funded by money funneled through the Koch-connected Americans for Job Security, Center to Protect Patient Rights (now called American Encore), and Freedom Partners.” The Taxpayers Protection Alliance has launched repeated attacks on renewable energy over the past few years, including through its SolarSecrets.org website, launched in 2014. As the Energy and Policy Institute revealed, the TPA also published a report criticizing “solar energy’s subsidy-based business models” and signed an Americans for Prosperity letter urging North Carolina lawmakers to repeal the state’s renewable energy standard.
Horace Cooper is listed as President and Secretary of the Energy Equality Coalition. Cooper is a Senior Fellow at the Heartland Institute, and is also a director of the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), where he co-chairs Project 21’s National Advisory Board. In August 2016 Cooper spoke on energy policy at the National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana, appearing in the same program as Charles Drevna, President of the now-defunct Koch-funded Fueling U.S. Forward campaign, according to the New York Times, which added that “[t]he event brought together African-American political groups and counted Fueling U.S. Forward among its sponsors.”
Echoing now-familiar Koch network messaging, recommendations adopted by delegates at the convention included the following statement: “Policies that subsidize electric vehicles and solar panels for the wealthy raise energy prices and harm the black community.”