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Map of IEEFA projects

An Interview with Karl Cates, Director of Media Relations at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA)

Briefly describe your organization and community.

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) is dedicated to the creation of a diverse, sustainable, and profitable energy economy. IEEFA’s research and commentary is anchored by a deeply experienced team of energy-finance experts. Our audience includes front-line activists, investors, regulators, policy makers, academics, and organizers. Our frequently-cited work is influential at many levels: locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.

What role does IEEFA play within the transition movement and why did you undertake this work?

IEEFA helps fill an urgent public need for objective, informed analysis around fast-moving trends in the new energy economy. Our specialties include coverage of the coal-mining industry and the coal-fired electricity-generation industry. IEEFA is uniquely positioned to develop local and regional transition strategies that preserve tax bases and jobs. Our organization’s work on this front includes research in Arizona and Western New York.

How is IEEFA helping grantees with transition work?

IEEFA supports responsible public- and private-sector policy that benefits communities adversely affected by change. IEEFA helped local leaders in Western New York prepare for the 2016 closure of the coal-fired NRG Huntley Generating Station, which was the largest contributor at the time to the local tax base. IEEFA research and commentary anticipated and informed the retirement of the plant and included a blueprint for how to cushion the blow. The work supported alliances between unions, activists, and politicians that helped unlock federal grants and state revenues that continue to fund municipal services and schools. More recently, IEEFA has delivered research and guidance on the economic transition that looms around closure of the Navajo Generating Station in northwest Arizona.

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