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“Please look this over quickly TODAY and give me any feedback,” Mr. Binz tells the lobbyists and Mr. Meehan in one email. A number of the other emails deal with coordinating meetings with staffers on Capitol Hill.
Mr. Binz’s association with Mr. Meehan is noteworthy because two media outlets, the Wall Street Journal editorial page and E&E, an environment and energy publication, both have said Mr. Binz and VennSquared denied coordinating with each other.

E&E reported on July 23 that VennSquared Senior Vice President Sarah Elliott said Mr. Binz was not aware VennSquared had been hired to support his nomination and that he wasn’t involved in selecting the firm. The Wall Street Journal said in its Aug. 25 editorial that both Mr. Binz and VennSquared “deny coordinating with one another.”

But Mr. Meehan told The Times he never spoke with the Wall Street Journal, and said his colleague, who did speak to E&E, had only indicated that Mr. Binz didn’t know before he was nominated that VennSquared had been hired.

“I wouldn’t have denied coordinating with him — I talked to the guy,” Mr. Meehan said.
Mr. Meehan said as a public relations firm, his chief job has been to put reporters in touch with people to defend Mr. Binz’s nomination — particularly since Mr. Binz isn’t doing interviews himself while he’s pending before the Senate.

Mr. Meehan also said he was thrilled to get the call from his client asking that he work on the nomination, saying he was happy to know that his side of the issue was willing to take up this fight.
“I was actually heartened,” he said.

Lobbyists and strategists

The Green Tech Action Fund, which is affiliated with the Energy Foundation, is reportedly paying for VennSquared to get involved. The Energy Foundation is registered as a 501(c )(3) non-profit, which limits the lobbying it can do. But an Energy Foundation employee, Ms. Doyle, is copied on a number of the 26 pages of emails The Times saw.

Ms. Doyle forwarded a request for comment to Jenny Coyle, a spokeswoman for the Energy Foundation, who said the Energy Foundation donates about 1 percent of its budget each year to the Green Tech Action Fund, and GTAF engages in lobbying. In 2011, the Energy Foundation reported spending $1 million of its $103 million in expenditures on lobbying.

Ms. Coyle said Ms. Doyle is an Energy Foundation employee but “occasionally bills a small portion of her time to GTAF. This is a common practice between c3s and their affiliated c4s.” Ms. Coyle said Ms. Doyle didn’t respond to any of the emails nor did she take part in meetings at FERC.

Mr. Binz is also being aided by two registered lobbyists, both of whom used to work for Mr. Reid.

One of the two lobbyists on the emails, Mr. Anderson, has a list of 22 client firms this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ database. It includes Noble Energy, Ormat Nevada and LS Power.

Mr. Anderson said he isn’t being paid to shepherd Mr. Binz, who he said was a friend, through the nomination process and said he doesn’t have any business before FERC that would be tainted.

“It is entirely appropriate to help a friend navigate the labyrinthine Senate confirmation process, and I am happy to lend my support,” said Mr. Anderson, who is executive vice president of Cassidy & Associates. “I am by no means a FERC expert and have no business matters before FERC.”

The other lobbyist, Chris Miller, didn’t respond to emails seeking comment. His client list is much smaller: United Technologies and Advanced Engine Systems Institute.

FERC employees’ role

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