by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Lachlan Markay reports for the Washington Free Beacon on a summit this week designed to connect “green energy” businesses to the well-connected politicians and power brokers who can keep the tax incentives flowing to their industry.
Green energy businesses gathered in Las Vegas on Monday for an annual conference hailing progress in the cleantech industry and encouraging further government incentives for the types of firms that paid thousands of dollars to sponsor the event.
For a minimum $4,000 payment, businesses and other groups got a spot in the exhibit hall of the eighth annual National Clean Energy Summit, cosponsored by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and the Center for American Progress.
“This prestigious event brings together the investors, industry executives, entrepreneurs, policymakers and advocates who are shaping the future of clean energy,” NCES’s website says.
The exhibitor fee gets businesses access to “senior industry executives, corporate sustainability teams, leaders from all levels of government, project developers, financiers, utilities, representatives from state and federal agencies and media from across the country,” in the words of a summit brochure.
The confluence of business and policy is characteristic of the event, which this year featured speeches and discussions from President Barack Obama, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, and CAP president Neera Tanden.
Reid himself is one of the event’s major draws. His office has bragged about its work in securing subsidies for donors to the Clean Energy Project, a group that serves as “the fiscal agent and the coordinating entity” of the summit, according to board member Sig Rogich.