American Renewable Energy Institute (AREI)




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2019):

Revenue: $254,057
Expenses: $238,355
Assets: $34,066


Environmental Advocacy


Chip Comins

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

American Renewable Energy Institute (AREI) opposes conventional energy sources in favor of weather-dependent energy sources. Based in Aspen, Colorado, AREI was founded in 2007, and serves as a vehicle to promote and disseminate the ideas of the annual American Renewable Energy Day summit. 1

AREI sponsors include the American Sustainable Business Council, Open Mind Project, EarthX, and Wild Foundation. AREI is a supporter of the Sierra Club’s “Ready for 100” initiative, which seeks to completely eliminate conventional fuels in favor of weather-dependent energy sources. 2


AREI hosts an annual summit in Aspen and Snowmass Village, Colorado known as the American Renewal Energy Day (AREday). Founded by Chip Comins and Sally Ranney in 2004, AREday was originally intended as a one-time event. Previous AREday participants include former President Jimmy Carter, media mogul Ted Turner, primatologist Jane Goodall, and NextGen Climate Action Committee founder Tom Steyer. 3

AREI also sponsors ImpactFilm, a film series films highlighting environmental and societal issues which are frequently screened as part of the AREday summit events. 4

Other Issue Areas

AREday 2018 featured a talk by civil rights activist Reverend Gerald Durley, in which he attempted to draw a parallel between the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the modern concern for “environmental justice.” 5

Reverend Durley returned in 2020 accompanied by Hawk Newsome of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York to link climate change with “social justice” and the Black Lives Matter movement. Newsome made reference to his “fight to liberate Black people” and end systemic racism which he claimed affected Black communities through climate change. He went on to call on conference participants to invest more money in Black communities to stimulate their interest in the environmentalist movement. 6

Other talking points of AREday 2020 included the use of social media to influence public perception of the climate change debate, voting rights, and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on climate change. In a conference entitled “Climate Finance” CERES CEO Mindy Lubber again drew a connection between the environment and social justice issues, stating that “sustainability is everything…not just about climate or water, it’s about what climate means to immigration.” 7


Chip Comins, founder and CEO of AREI, is the managing director of American Spirit Productions as well as the president and CEO of renewable energy consulting company WEnergy Inc. He is also co-founder of the “Green Girl Minute,” a news brief series hosted by Ginna Kelly. 8 In a 2020 interview with Awaken Media, Comins referred to people who question catastrophic anthropogenic climate change projections as “paid shills” and “brainwashed.” 9

Sally Ranney, president and co-founder of AREI, is also the co-founder of the International Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN). She is the CEO of wetlands mitigation bank Stillwater Preservation LLC, chairman of eraGlobal Alliance, and sits on the boards of the National Wildlife Federation, the Climate Accountability Institute, and the Global Advisory Committee of Women and the Green Economy. She is also the co-founder and former president of American Wildlands. 10


  1. “AREI Inc.” Guidestar. Accessed November 8, 2021.
  2. “2017 Summit Agenda.” AREI. Undated. Accessed November 8, 2021.
  3. “New Summer Dates Announced for American Renewable Energy Summit.” Website. April 20, 2019. Accessed November 8, 2021.
  4. “IMPACTFILM.” AREI. Accessed November 8, 2021.
  5. “Is the Climate Change Movement the Civil Rights Movement of Today?” Youtube. July 27, 2018. Accessed November 8, 2021.
  6. “Black Lives Matter, Social Justice, and Climate Change” Youtube. October 7, 2020. Accessed November 8, 2021.
  7. “Climate Finance AREDAY 2020 Virtual.” Youtube. October 1, 2020. Accessed November 8, 2021.
  8. “Chip Comins.” EarthX. Accessed November 8, 2021.
  9. Awaken Media. “Awaken Interviews Chip Comins Founder of the American Renewable Energy Institute: Part 1.” Youtube. August 25, 2017. Accessed November 8, 2021.
  10. “Sally Ranney.” Linkedin. Accessed November 8, 2021.
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: September 1, 2011

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Dec Form 990 $254,057 $238,355 $34,066 $0 N $5,110 $39,930 $62 $0 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $329,423 $342,788 $30,045 $11,681 N $294,774 $34,538 $111 $0 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $301,712 $325,387 $34,030 $2,301 N $275,586 $26,075 $51 $18,500 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $282,013 $276,956 $64,555 $9,151 N $241,820 $40,121 $72 $36,426 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $304,563 $327,307 $51,728 $1,381 N $263,698 $40,772 $93 $30,563 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $300,338 $243,165 $76,237 $0 N $253,668 $46,659 $11 $37,619 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $273,350 $244,909 $26,564 $7,500 N $223,573 $49,777 $0 $17,200 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $163,410 $183,220 $1,307 $10,684 N $115,333 $48,077 $0 $79,854 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $219,453 $206,271 $13,780 $598 N $48,770 $170,683 $0 $0 PDF

    American Renewable Energy Institute (AREI)

    PO BOX 7784
    ASPEN, CO 81612-7784