Though they are legally required to disclose the names of any members or donore who give them more than $5K, the Commercial Energy Working Group — which lobbies against energy sector regulations — refuses to name any of its backers.
They're an incredibly prolific group, too: Public Citizen's Tyson Slocum calls them "one of the most active – and secret – organizations seeking to undermine energy market regulations."
Don't worry, though, it's pretty easy to make a good guess at who their backers are: Vitol, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell, Hess Corporation and NextEra Energy Resources (possibly also Hess, BP, Shell, Luminant, and DTE Energy).
A member of the CEWG even sits on the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which maintains federal oversight of derivatives. Ron Oppenheimer, an associate member of the advisory committee, is listed as a "Representative" of CEWG. But he actually works as a senior vice president and general counsel for Vitol, a Swiss-based derivatives trading company.
When Slocum asked Oppenheimer to disclose the membership of CEWG at a public meeting of the CFTC advisory committee last month, he refused. Oppenheimer said the working group had no plans to make that information public.
"If you feel entitled to formally provide advice to the government about how your members need relief from regulations, you've got to tell us who your members are," Slocum told The Intercept.
Mysterious, Powerful Lobbying Group Won't Even Say Who It's Lobbying For [David Dayen/The Intercept/Google Cache]
Mysterious, Powerful Lobbying Group Won't Even Say Who It's Lobbying For [David Dayen/The Intercept]