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Zichal departs renewables lobbying group | #socialmedia | #hacking | #aihp


With Daniel Lippman

ZICHAL LEAVING RENEWABLES GROUP: Heather Zichal is stepping down next month as the chief executive of the American Clean Power Association to take on a new role at JPMorgan Chase, where she’ll be the bank’s global head of sustainability.

— Zichal, a former climate and energy adviser to former President Barack Obama, was tapped in 2020 to lead the then-new trade group, a result of the American Wind Energy Association partnering with other stakeholders like Google, NextEra Energy, GE Renewable Energy, Apex Clean Energy and Clearway Energy to enhance the industry’s influence in Washington.

— She also oversaw ACP’s merger with the U.S. Energy Storage Association, which came amid the lobbying frenzy over Democrats’ efforts to pass a much larger climate and social spending bill and infrastructure legislation. Despite clashing with the Biden administration over solar trade policy, the enactment of both the bipartisan infrastructure package and the scaled-back reconciliation bill that President Joe Biden signed into law this summer, which includes bulked up clean energy tax credits, marked a massive win for the group.

— ACP, whose members also include natural gas companies and utilities, has more recently backed Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) permitting reform proposal that has drawn criticism from climate hawks. In a statement last week, Zichal warned that “we can’t afford to let our unnecessarily burdensome permitting process derail the promise of a clean energy future.”

— “In her two years at the helm of ACP, Heather has positioned us as the single voice of the clean energy industry. Thanks to her leadership, the organization is the strongest it’s ever been,” Craig Cornelius, the chief executive of Clearway Energy and chair of ACP’s board of directors, said in a statement. JC Sandberg, the trade group’s chief advocacy officer, will serve as interim CEO until a successor is found, the group said.

— “Leaving ACP is the toughest professional decision I’ve ever had to make especially after the historic progress we’ve made together,” Zichal said in a statement. “We’ve grown as a trade association, with nearly double the resources and an entire, diverse team of experts paving the way for a clean energy future at the state, regional and federal level.”

— At JPMorgan, she will oversee the bank’s pledge to finance and facilitate at least $2.5 trillion for sustainable development by 2030, as well as engage policymakers on energy security and sustainability issues.

Good afternoon and welcome to PI. Send K Street tips: [email protected]. And be sure to follow me on Twitter: @caitlinoprysko.

COGENT ADDS GOP STRATEGIST: Longtime Republican strategist Lisa Camooso Miller is joining Cogent Strategies as managing director. She’s spent the past six years as a partner at Reset Public Affairs, a relationship Camooso Miller will retain, and before that helped lead public affairs at the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, National Community Pharmacists Association and the RNC, in addition to serving as a spokesperson to former House Speaker Dennis Hastert. The firm also added Anthony Mitchell as an associate and Grace Wankelman as a digital associate.

UTILITIES LOBBY TO BLOCK PERMITTING BILL: “Some major utilities are urging lawmakers to vote against Sen. Joe Manchin’s bill to alter the nation’s energy permitting rules because of provisions that would expand the federal government’s role in approving interstate power lines while limiting the authority of states,” a person familiar with the effort tells our Josh Siegel and Catherine Morehouse.

— “More than one electric utility company that operates in the South and Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S. is urging congressional delegations representing those areas to oppose the bill, an energy lobbyist told POLITICO” prior to Manchin requesting that the bill be separated from government funding legislation ahead of a key procedural vote today.

— The bill has also faced opposition from a coalition of 18 Republican-led states led by Louisiana that “is also urging Congress to reject the permitting bill.” But “publicly, the utility industry is largely staying on the sidelines and not offering a position on Manchin’s permitting bill.”

— “Edison Electric Institute, which represents investor-owned power companies, hasn’t issued a statement about it. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which counts large utilities among its members, said Monday it supports Manchin’s permitting bill but also encouraged lawmakers to ‘revise provisions related to transmission siting.’”

— “A spokesperson for Duke Energy, which serves power customers in Carolinas, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, said in a statement the utility ‘fully supports Congressional action on a permitting reform bill.’ The spokesperson did not respond to a follow up question on whether the company supports Manchin’s bill in particular.”

INSIDE TIKTOK’S BID TO WOO WASHINGTON: Executives and lobbyists for the massively popular video app TikTok have stormed Washington as the platform has come under fire on numerous fronts, from parent company ByteDance’s ties to China to its data collection and content moderation practices. But the lobbying blitz has missed some of the company’s most vocal detractors, according to Bloomberg’s Alex Barinka and Emily Birnbaum.

— TikTok CEO Shouzi Chew, “as well as the company’s chief operating officer, head of US trust & safety, and a star-studded group of lobbyists, have engaged with 130 congressional offices since June, according to TikTok. This has included meetings, phone calls, emails, and conversations at events.”

— “The harshest rhetoric is coming from Republican lawmakers and officials with whom TikTok representatives haven’t met during their charm offensive—and who could be more relevant if the GOP takes the House this November.”

— “Despite hiring [House Minority Leader Kevin] McCarthy’s former political director, TikTok has yet to have a formal conversation with the minority leader or with Republican House Whip Steve Scalise, according to congressional aides, who asked not to be named discussing private meetings. TikTok also hasn’t held formal meetings with Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Josh Hawley of Missouri, who are both prominent Republican China hawks, the people say.”

— “Representatives for TikTok say some elected officials are uninterested in listening to facts that could undermine their precooked narratives about the platform,” meanwhile “some congressional aides have complained that their most consistent communication with TikTok is through its weekly government affairs newsletter, which arrives unsolicited in their inboxes.”

FIRST IN PI — VOGEL ADDS 3: Law firm Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky & Josefiak and its sister government affairs shop have added three new staffers hailing from the Sunshine State, including a former aide to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Josh Pratt and Chad Revis are joining Holtzman Vogel as associate attorneys, and Tori Deal will serve as director of operations for both the law firm and its lobbying arm, the Vogel Group. Pratt most recently served as DeSantis’ deputy general counsel, and is a former clerk for state Supreme Court Justice Charles Canady and two federal judges.

— Revis most recently clerked for Chief Justice Carlos Muñiz at the Florida Supreme Court, and previously served on the executive staff of state Attorney General Ashley Moody, while Deal has served as an executive assistant and adviser to numerous heads of Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection.

RETAILERS ADD A TAX LOBBYIST: Ashley Wilson has joined the National Retail Federation as vice president for tax policy after nearly two decades with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Wilson launched her own consultancy, the Wilson Network, earlier this year after leaving the business lobby, where she served as managing director of public affairs and previously was the organization’s chief tax lobbyist.

WHAT BALLARD’S DOING FOR GUATEMALA:Ballard Partners has “raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars as part of the Guatemalan government’s foreign influence operations in the U.S., with the government of Taiwan footing the bill,” OpenSecrets’ Anna Massoglia reports.

— According to DOJ filings detailing the firm’s work on Guatemala’s behalf as part of the unusual financial arrangement, Ballard lobbyists “‘facilitated communications with the U.S. media, relevant government officials and decision makers, non-government organizations, and other business associates within the U.S.,’ according to new FARA records.”

— “As part of the lobbying and influence efforts, the foreign agents met with several congressional offices” and lawmakers themselves to discuss the “importance of [the] U.S.- Guatemala relationship,” including Reps. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), Brian Mast (R-Fla.), María Salazar (R-Fla.), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and Carlos Giménez (R-Fla.) and Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

— “Ballard Partners reported reaching out to Rubio’s office on behalf of Guatemala as early as April 20 with an invitation to a dinner with a Guatemalan delegation, and continued to text and call Rubio’s staff. On June 14, they ‘Discussed Senator Rubio’s call with President Giammattei.’”

CORRECTION: Monday’s Influence misstated the relationship between the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and Responsibility.org. They are separate organizations. PI regrets the error.


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