The company spent $9.9 million on lobbying in 2008, a $900,000 increase from 2007, according to filed reports.
The natural gas industry wants a tax provision to finance clean energy technology slipped into the bill.
The industry said $100 million could be raised to finance new green technologies if utility customers were charged an annual $2 fee for 10 years, said Charles Fritts, vice president of government relations at the American Gas Association, a trade group for natural gas utility members and customers. An independent board approved by the industry would collect the money and allocate it to the most deserving research and development projects, he said.
Mr. Hayden said API does not disclose how much it spends on lobbyists or its strategy, but “A lot of policymakers on Capitol Hill, including new [members], have reached out to us to know the impact the climate change and energy proposals will have.”
Meanwhile, industries specializing in renewable energy sources see this bill as an opportunity to cash in on the shift from carbon-intensive sources.
“Historically, we haven’t been a major part on this country’s energy infrastructure, but this bill can go a long way for the solar industry,” said Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “So, we’ve launched an aggressive lobbying campaign.”
The solar trade group, which represents 900 companies, doubled its operating budget this year to $9 million, increased its staff by 25 percent and tripled its roster of lobbyists. It spent $1.45 million on lobbying in 2008, according to filed reports.
The wind-power industry has put advertisements inside Metro subway cars and Capitol Hill publications and on CNN.com, as well as stepped up its lobbying efforts, said Rob Gramlich, policy director for American Wind Energy Association. The industry spent $950,000 on lobbying in 2008.
If Congress enacts Mr. Obama’s proposal to auction all emission permits, renewable-energy producers might get the money they want.
Mr. Obama is counting on the proceeds from the auctions to finance energy projects and tax breaks to middle- and lower-income workers. He expects to generate $646 billion between 2012 and 2020 from auctions.
But the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, an alliance of major businesses and environmental groups, wants a “significant portion” of the carbon-emissions allowances to be given without charge to companies and industries at first, to reduce the immediate economic shock.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman, California Democrat, said he based his energy and climate change bill draft closely on the partnership’s proposals.
The complexity of the issue and the number of parties involved have undermined past efforts to overhaul energy policy and deal with climate change, said William Kovacs, the top energy policy specialist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“The allocation system will never happen, and it’s very unlikely a bill will even pass,” he said.
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