Earth Shakers: The Counter-Enviro Power List

Thomas R. Kuhn: President, Edison Electric Institute

May 1, 2005
Outside Magazine

Kuhn heads the electric-utility industry's most influential trade group, the Edison Electric Institute, whose roughly 200 member companies generate more than 70 percent of the nation's electricity—and who spent more than $72 million on lobbying between 1999 and 2004.

A 58-year-old Beltway denizen originally from Massachusetts, Kuhn has known George W. Bush since they were classmates at Yale, and he raised more than $100,000 in contributions for the Bush campaign in 2000 and 2004. As a member of the president's Department of Energy transition team, Kuhn helped devise the administration's energy policy, designed to boost supply and remove regulatory barriers that inhibit fossil-fuel production.

SOUND BITE: In a 1999 memo leaked to the media, Kuhn assured energy executives that their contributions to the 2000 Bush campaign would be rewarded—as long as donors made sure to use tracking numbers on their checks. "It does ensure that our industry is credited," he wrote.

NEXT UP: Though the Clear Skies bill died in committee this year, it will likely be Kuhn's top priority to revive as much of it as possible for future reintroduction on the Hill.

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