Other Group

Energy and Policy Institute



Executive Director:

David Pomerantz

Energy and Policy Institute is an environmentalist organization that reports on the political spending of energy companies. 1 It advocates for environmentalist policy and for restrictions on political speech by energy and utility companies. 2

Critics of Energy and Policy Institute claim that the group is hypocritical for labeling energy companies as “dark money” donors for funding activist organizations that lobby for policies that allegedly are lucrative for the energy companies while Energy and Policy Institute does not disclose its donors and is not registered as a legal entity. A report by Campaign for Accountability found that the only paper trail the organization has is that its website is registered through a “privacy shielding” company in Panama and that it has a Post Office box in California as its address. 3


Energy and Policy Institute is an environmentalist watchdog organization. It publishes reports that track the influence of donations from energy companies to political groups and elected officials. 4

Energy and Policy Institute uses its research to condemn elected officials for not enacting environmentalist policies, arguing that they chose not to because of donations from energy companies. 5 It tracks so-called utility front groups, which are advocacy organizations that receive contributions from utility and other energy companies, and uses identity politics to criticize their work, claiming that ethnic minorities and other marginalized groups are victims of their advocacy. 6


In January 2023, Energy and Policy Institute published a report of its research on the political donations of utility companies. The report criticizes utility companies’ use of revenue to fund advocacy organizations. It also claims that there are too many so-called loopholes that allow utility companies to fund advocacy groups and advocates for eliminating the constitutional right for campaign finance speech for utility companies. Additionally, Energy and Policy Institute advocates for policies that would require utility companies to disclose their spending where it may be deemed political and impose fines and punishments for violating any policies restricting spending on political speech. 7

In February 2013, Energy and Policy Institute published a report criticizing Virginia state legislators for supporting the passing of Senate Bill 1265, which was introduced by state Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw (D), because Saslaw and the other supporters of the bill had accepted donations from Dominion Energy. It argues that Dominion Energy stands to profit from the passing of the bill, implying a conflict of interest for the legislators. 8 Senate Bill 1265 would increase base-rate reviews from every three years to two years, which proponents claim would reduce the amount of sudden increases in ratepayers utility costs, and it would grant Virginia’s State Corporation Commission the authority to increase or decrease electric companies’ rate of return up to 50 basis points based on reliability, generating plant performance, customer service, operating efficiency of a utility, and load forecasting. 9

Energy and Policy Institute publishes reports on so-called front groups, which can be any advocacy organization that receives funding from energy companies. It reports on these front groups to associate advocacy for non-environmentalist energy policy with the energy companies to attempt to discredit their advocacy. 10 11


In June 2017, Campaign for Accountability published a report on the Energy and Policy Institute pointing out contradictions with its reporting on “dark money” organizations, groups that it describes as front groups. The report found that despite Energy and Policy Institute claiming conflicts of interest of the advocacy groups it reports on for how it funds political advocacy, Energy and Policy Institute is not a legally registered entity as an advocacy organization or otherwise. The report also found that its website name is owned by a “privacy shielding” company in Panama. Energy and Policy Institute declined to respond to requests for any formal documentation or explanation for its funding and origins. 12

In September 2020, Alabama Today reported in an article that Jobkeeper Alliance filed an ethics complaint against Florida county supervisor of the Broward Soil and Water Conservation District Alissa Jean Schafer for receiving income from Energy and Policy Institute. The article also reports that then-Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R) reached out to employees of Energy and Policy Institute to inquire on the organization’s legal status and questions regarding who pays the employees, but he did not receive a response. 13


David Pomerantz has served as the executive director of the Energy and Policy Institute since 2016 and is also a senior climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace, for whom he has worked since 2008. 14 With Greenpeace, he organizes campaigns that advocate for reducing the use of conventional energy and switching to environmentalist energy. 15


  1. “What Is the Energy and Policy Institute?” Campaign for Accountability, August 9, 2021. https://campaignforaccountability.org/work/what-is-the-energy-and-policy-institute/.
  2. “Getting Politics out of Utility Bills.” Energy and Policy Institute, February 23, 2023. https://www.energyandpolicy.org/utility-political-machines/.
  3.  “What Is the Energy and Policy Institute?” Campaign for Accountability, August 9, 2021. https://campaignforaccountability.org/work/what-is-the-energy-and-policy-institute/.
  4.  “Our Mission.” Energy and Policy Institute, June 16, 2020. https://www.energyandpolicy.org/about/our-mission/.
  5. “Utility Industry Contributions to Section 527 Political Organizations.” Energy and Policy Institute, April 15, 2022. https://www.energyandpolicy.org/utility-industry-contributions-political-organizations/.
  6. Conroy, Keriann. “New Tool Tracks Utility Front Groups Spending on Social Media Advertising.” Energy and Policy Institute, October 31, 2022. https://www.energyandpolicy.org/utility-front-groups-spending-on-disinformation-advertising/.
  7. “Getting Politics out of Utility Bills.” Energy and Policy Institute, February 23, 2023. https://www.energyandpolicy.org/utility-political-machines/.
  8. Green, Shelby. “Dominion Energy-Funded Legislators Push Bill to Boost the Utility’s Profits.” Energy and Policy Institute, April 18, 2023. https://www.energyandpolicy.org/dominion-energy-funded-legislators-push-bill-to-boost-the-utilitys-profits/.
  9. “SB 1265 Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act; Retail Competitiveness, Review Proceedings, Etc.” Legislative Information System. Virginia’s Legislative Information System. Accessed April 23, 2023. https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?231%2Bsum%2BSB1265.
  10. [1] “Front Groups Archives.” Energy and Policy Institute. Accessed April 23, 2023. https://www.energyandpolicy.org/category/front-groups/.
  11. “Coalition for Cleaner Affordable Energy.” Energy and Policy Institute, March 31, 2023. https://www.energyandpolicy.org/coalition-for-cleaner-affordable-energy/.
  12. “What Is the Energy and Policy Institute?” Campaign for Accountability, August 9, 2021. https://campaignforaccountability.org/work/what-is-the-energy-and-policy-institute/
  13. Beth Cann. “More Questions Arise about the Energy & Policy Institute.” Alabama Today, September 16, 2020. https://altoday.com/archives/36568-more-questions-arise-about-the-energy-policy-institute.
  14. “David Pomerantz.” LinkedIn. Accessed April 24, 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-pomerantz-14601515.
  15. “David Pomerantz.” Energy and Policy Institute, July 5, 2022. https://www.energyandpolicy.org/about/who-we-are/david-pomerantz/.
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