LANSING - As Michigan legislators make the "sausage" of rewriting state energy policy, the Michigan Campaign Finance Network has compiled a table of contributions from prominent energy companies to officeholders' candidate campaign committees, their leadership PACs and the legislatives caucuses' PACs. Records show over $500,000 of contributions from November 24, 2014 through October 20, 2015.
DTE Energy Company, $269,790, and CMS (Consumers) Energy, $144,150, easily top the donors list. Other donors that were included are AEP (American Electric Power), $16,400; ITC Holdings (the electrical grid company), $36,075; Michigan Action Committee for Rural Electrification (MI ACRE - the association of regional electric cooperatives), $19,375; NextEra Energy (renewable and nuclear energy), $28,000; and Entergy Nuclear Energy, $3,150.
The recipient committees are led by the legislative caucuses' PACs. They are followed by the committees of the legislative leaders of both chambers, the leadership of the respective chambers' energy committees, rank and file energy committee members from both chambers and rank and file members of the legislature who are not members of the energy committees.
Notably absent from the recipients list is Senate Energy and Technology Committee Chairman Mike Nofs, whose candidate committee and leadership PAC are nearly moribund. Sen. John Proos, majority vice-chairman of that committee, ranks fourth among officeholders on the list of recipients, trailing only House Energy Chairman Aric Nesbitt, Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof and Speaker Kevin Cotter.
Majority Republicans outstrip minority Democrats at all levels of the recipient list.
Lobbying expenditures reported by energy corporations through July of this year are led by DTE, $188,676; Consumers, $137,789; Koch Industries, $70,000; Entergy, $52,500; Indiana Michigan Power, $52,270; Energy Solutions, $40,000; Midland Cogeneration Venture, $32,330; ITC Holdings, $29,768, SEMCO Energy, $28,865; and the Alliance for Solar Choice, $28,376. Lobbying expenditures by the energy companies through multi-client firms cannot be determined.
On another front, Citizens for Michigan's Energy Future, a domestic nonprofit corporation, has been running a television issue advocacy campaign throughout the year in media markets across Michigan.