Non-profit

Rewiring America

Website:

www.rewiringamerica.org

Location:

Washington, DC

Tax ID:

93-2830316

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Type:

Global Warming Advocacy Group

Project of:

Windward Fund

Formation:

2020

Executive Director:

Adam Zurofsky

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Rewiring America is a left-of-center group that advocates a massive government mobilization of society, on par with World War II, to dramatically remake the American economy and end the use of oil and natural gas, replacing them with environmentalist energy sources. Rewiring America is a project of the Windward Fund, a nonprofit managed by the left-of-center consulting firm Arabella Advisors, which controls a multibillion-dollar “dark money” network. 1

Founding and History

Rewiring America was founded in 2020 by Saul Griffith and Alex Laskey. The organization works to promote the ideas laid out in the book Griffith coauthored, which was also named Rewiring America. Griffith argues that the key to reducing carbon emissions is to essentially abolish all forms of energy other than renewable powered electricity. Griffith urges the government to undertake a society-wide mobilization that will triple American energy production by approaching the situation with an attitude of total war, similar to U.S. industrial mobilization during World War II. 2

On March 14, 2023, former democrat candidate for Atlanta governor Stacey Abrams announced that she would be joining Rewiring America as its Senior Consul. In a statement, Abrahms claimed she was, “…excited to join Rewiring America to share the benefits of electrification and ensure families get their fair share. I look forward to working together as we build the tools that will transform everyday Americans from energy consumers to energy moguls in their own communities.” 3 Rewiring American co-founder and CEO Ari Matusiak also commented, “She’s a brilliant and visionary organizer who will accelerate our work and expand the audience for the benefits of electrification — the most equity-centered climate strategy we have.” 4

Finances

Rewiring America is a project of the Windward Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in Washington, D.C. As a project, it does not file Form 990 filings with the IRS and its funds are controlled by the Windward Fund. In October 2020, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund reported a $300,000 grant to the Windward Fund for Rewiring America. 5

According to its 2021 990 tax form, the Sergey Brin Family Foundation, the foundation for Google co-founder Sergey Brin, provided a grant worth roughly $4,503,533 to Arabella Advisors-managed nonprofit Windward Foundation for the purpose of, “General Operating Support For Rewiring America.” 6

Priority Issues

Rewiring America promotes a new federal government program that would reach into every aspect of American life in order to reduce carbon emissions. The organization envisions massive government spending to incentivize communities to replace older appliances and equipment with new more energy efficient ones, and government financing and rebates to subsidize electric updates for lower earning households. It also advocates the formation of a national standard for electrification projects. 7

Saul Griffith is explicit that his vision can only be achieved via government mandate and direct involvement and control of industry. He has referred to government mandates during the Great Depression and the mobilization of production during World War II as the ideal model. 8

Griffith has noted elsewhere that he is an engineer, not an economist, but implies that because of the “climate emergency,” engineers, rather than economists, should be consulted when formulating policies, such as government involvement in “climate loans”. 9

The group is a founder of the Power Forward Communities, a coalition of nonprofits advocating for policy to improve local communities including decarbonizing and a focus on clean energy usage in low-income and disadvantaged communities. Other founders include Enterprise Community Partners, Habitat for Humanity International, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and United Way Worldwide. Other founders include Rewiring America, Habitat for Humanity International, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and United Way Worldwide. 10

Leadership

Adam Zurofsky is the executive director of Rewiring America. He previously worked as the director of state policy and agency management for New York State. He was also previously the deputy secretary for energy and finance in New York State. He teaches climate policy at Columbia University. 11

Saul Griffith is the co-founder and chief scientist at Rewiring America. He is also the founder and chief scientist of Otherlab, a research and development firm that has done work with many government agencies, including NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. 12 He frequently cites the total war model of World War II as his vision of U.S. climate policy. In the fall of 2020, he wrote that “some corner of the Twitterverse” had nominated him to be the energy secretary in the Joe Biden administration. However, Griffith declined, saying that he is not a naturalized U.S. citizen and that he would prefer a “bigger role” than that of a cabinet official. He went on to describe a role that does not currently exist, but that he calls “climate liaison” that would be responsible for directing the U.S. economy towards his preferred vision of development. As inspiration he cites the role of Henry Knudsen at the Office of Production Management and the National Defense Advisory Commission during World War II. 13 Medium posted an op-ed written by Griffith back in September 2020 where he talked about Rewiring America’s founding and steps to ensure low costs of energy whilst electrifying everything. He claimed,

“First, we have to rewrite the federal, state, and local rules and regulations that were created for the fossil-fueled world and are preventing the U.S. from having the cheapest electricity ever. Then, we have to finance our transition to a zero-carbon energy system with a low-interest “climate loan.’’ We have precedents and mechanisms for doing this; the U.S. pioneered public-private financing in the past that can help us get the job done today.” 14

Alex Laskey was the founder and president of Opower, a software company that worked with the utility industry. The company was later purchased by Oracle. He is also a board member of Advanced Energy Economy, a left-of-center environmentalist group. He has also worked with a number of environmentalist groups including The Nature Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, and the League of Conservation Voters. 15

References

  1. Walter, Scott. “Inside the Left’s Web of ‘Dark Money.’” Capital Research Center. Capital Research Center, October 26, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/inside-the-lefts-web-of-dark-money/.
  2. Griffith, Saul. “Rewire America!” Medium, September 15, 2020. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://medium.com/rewiring-america/rewire-america-abac27ec281c.
  3. “Stacey Abrams Joins Rewiring America as Senior Counsel.” Rewiring America, March 14, 2023. https://www.rewiringamerica.org/press-release/stacey-abrams-joins-rewiring-america-as-senior-counsel
  4. “Stacey Abrams Joins Rewiring America as Senior Counsel.” Rewiring America, March 14, 2023. https://www.rewiringamerica.org/press-release/stacey-abrams-joins-rewiring-america-as-senior-counsel
  5. Windward Fund Grant for Rewiring America. Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Accessed March 23, 2021. Original URL: https://www.rbf.org/grantees/windward-fund. Archived URL: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2021/03/Rockefeller-Brothers-grant-to-Rewiring-America.-03.21.pdf
  6. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sergey Brin Family Foundation. 2021. Part XIV. Line 3. Archived: https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/472107200/202243199349103084/IRS990PF
  7. Laskey, Alex, Adam Zurofsky, Ari Matusiak, and Tony Curnes. “REWIRING AMERICA: A POLICY ROADMAP FOR JUMPSTARTING AND DECARBONIZING OUR ECONOMY,” Accessed May 3, 2021. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5e540e7fb9d1816038da0314/t/5fcdebf9cded405bb8fbb3c8/1607330813414/RA_Federal_Policy_Framework.pdf
  8. Roberts, David. “How to Drive Fossil Fuels out of the US Economy, Quickly.” Vox, August 6, 2020. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/21349200/climate-change-fossil-fuels-rewiring-america-electrify.
  9. Griffith, Saul. “SOLVING CLIMATE CHANGE WITH A LOAN.” Medium, February 6, 2020. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://medium.com/otherlab-news/solving-climate-change-with-a-loan-d1aac4b8259a.
  10. Power Forward Communities, Accessed June 20, 2024. https://powerforwardcommunities.org/
  11. Rewiring America. “Our Team.” Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.rewiringamerica.org/our-team.
  12. Rewiring America. “Our Team.” Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.rewiringamerica.org/our-team.
  13. Griffith, Saul. “If I Were Secretary of Energy.” Medium, November 30, 2020. https://saulgriffith.medium.com/if-i-were-secretary-of-energy-b740d6aedd54.
  14. Griffith, Saul. “Rewire America!” Medium September 1, 2020. https://saulgriffith.medium.com/rewire-america-2e574d4390c6
  15. “Alex Laskey.” Alliance to Save Energy, October 26, 2017. https://www.ase.org/biography/alex-laskey.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Stacey Abrams
    Senior Counsel
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 2024

  • Available Filings

    No filings available.

    Rewiring America

    601 MASSACHUSETTS AVE NW
    Washington, DC 20001-5369