Hundreds of conservative activists from across the country came to Washington this fall for the Conservative Clean Energy Summit, hosted by the Christian Coalition and Young Conservatives for Energy Reform. Republican Senators Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Chuck Grassley, Rob Portman, Tim Scott, Dean Heller, and Richard Burr spoke at the Capitol Hill event, as did Rep. Chris Gibson. Also participating: CNA Military Advisory Board members Gen. Ron Keys and Lt. Gen. Richard Zilmer, clean energy business leaders and key Republican pollsters. Cater Communications provided strategic guidance, organized and moderated panels and managed media outreach. In attendance: Reuters, The New York Times, POLITICO, E&E Publishing, TGE Ink and The New Yorker.
HOW NATIONS CAN GO 100% RENEWABLE
Ahead of high-stakes global climate negotiations in Paris, Cater Communications helped The Solutions Project and Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson release 139 country-level roadmaps to get to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Jacobson presented his research at a Congressional hearing, speaking alongside ambassadors and diplomats. Cater’s outreach to Beltway, national and international press generated coverage in The New York Times, Scientific American, the San Francisco Chronicle, Fast Company, Public News Service, Inside Climate News, and more than a dozen international outlets in Croatia, Poland, South Africa and other countries.
RISING TIDES SUMMIT HITS THE AIR WAVES
The ocean doesn’t care what party you belong to, and local leaders in red and blue states alike understand that rising seas and increased coastal flooding mean growing risks for people, homes and businesses. In October, more than 30 coastal mayors and other elected leaders, including an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, gathered for the Rising Tides summit in New Hampshire. State Sen. Nancy Stiles (R-Hampton) and Mayor Bob Lister (D-Portsmouth) hosted the event, with organizational help from the Union of Concerned Scientists and the World Resources Institute. Cater Communications managed the summit’s radio tour, securing 10 in-district interviews for elected officials in Alabama, Florida, New York and Rhode Island.
OIL INDUSTRY CAN'T FOOL CALIFORNIA
From fighting clean air laws to causing oil spills, the oil and gas industry has been busy in California this year -- and so has the public education campaign Stop Fooling CA (SFC). When the oil industry was caught dumping chemical-laden wastewater into unlined pits without permits, SFC joined with Clean Water Action to launch the #WaterNotOil campaign. When Phillips 66 painted a rosy picture of its proposed rail spur to San Luis Obispo, SFC worked with ForestEthics and created new websites to tell the rest of the story. When the oil industry deployed front groups and ramped up lobbying efforts to try to derail SB 350, SFC fought back with infographics, editorial cartoons, and a press release. And when documents revealed that Exxon knew about climate science for decades but continued to promote doubt about it, SFC’s brief video highlighting the company’s inconsistencies was re-tweeted by Mark Ruffalo, Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben, reaching more than 2.7 million people.
CLEAN ENERGY DOWN ON THE FARM
Farmers fuel the future. Ahead of the Paris climate talks, Cater Communications secured a national story on PBS showcasing rural America’s growing leadership in renewable energy. The piece highlighted several clean energy projects spearheaded by the 25x’25 Alliance and its partners in Iowa and Indiana.
U.S. FAITH LEADERS WELCOME A POPE FOR THE PLANET
Pope Francis’ visit to America was historic on many levels, not the least of which was his climate change appeal to Catholic congressmen, many of whom challenge the scientific consensus. Cater Communications worked with the national nonprofit organization Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) to amplify the call to action for moral reasons. IPL's founder and president, the Rev. Sally Bingham, greeted Pope Francis upon his arrival at the White House and later spoke to thousands at a climate rally on the National Mall. As IPL chapters around the nation held vigils in the Pope’s honor, IPL deacon Jerry Kotas flew to Washington to serve at Mass with the Pontiff. Cater secured an op ed in the Denver Post from Deacon Kotas, as well as coverage in The Huffington Post, the Guardian, Mother Jones, Al Jazeera, The Denver Post, Voice of America, Colorado Public Radio, Good Day Colorado, and the Public News Service among others.
BIG BUSINESS IN BETTER BATTERIES
In the heart of the world's largest energy storage cluster, San Francisco-based CalCharge is working to accelerate the development and deployment of advanced battery technologies. Cater Communications helped CalCharge announce its first Southern California members at the Energy Storage North America conference in San Diego in October. On the list: Southern California Edison, CalCharge’s first utility member; and UC San Diego, home to a pioneering microgrid and the Sustainable Power and Energy Center. The event scored coverage in EnergyWire, San Diego Business Journal, KPBS, CleanTechnica, and AltEnergyMag.
VW'S DIESEL SCANDAL: MAPPING THE DAMAGE
Cater Communications worked with the California Clean Energy Fund, Kevala and Stop Fooling CA to create and release an online interactive map showing the ways Volkswagen’s diesel scandal has hit California’s disadvantaged communities especially hard. The story scored coverage in POLITICO, the New York Times, Grist, San Jose Mercury News, Triple Pundit, CleanTechnica, Capitol Television News Service, and radio stations across the state, and Cater worked with Danny Kennedy of the California Clean Energy Fund and Sara Chandler from Greenlining to place an op-ed in Fox & Hounds.
FOSSIL FUEL IS A BAD INVESTMENT
As California moves to divest employee pension funds from coal assets, Jeremy Leggett - chairman of the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a think tank focused on aligning capital market actions with climate reality - traveled from the UK to Sacramento to share his expertise. Accompanied by the California Clean Energy Fund’s Danny Kennedy on a tour supported by Cater Communications, Leggett spoke with the California Energy Commission, held an interactive digital forum about investment opportunities in the clean-energy economy and met with reporters. Stories appeared in ClimateWire, Grist and KGO, and Cater worked with Leggett and Kennedy to place an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee.
NATIONAL LAB HELPS BIOTECH FIRM SAVE ENERGY
Biotech firm Genentech’s new 255,000-square-foot building in South San Francisco is highly energy-efficient and comfortable, thanks to Berkeley Lab’s FLEXLABTM. The building - the first to be tested at FLEXLAB - will consume about 30 percent less energy than a typical office building, while maximizing employee comfort. Cater Communications partnered with Genentech and Weber Shandwick to publicize the building’s ribbon-cutting event, attended by Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. Coverage appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Business Times, and GreenBiz.
NUCLEAR SECURITY THROUGH INNOVATION
Loose nukes, rogue actors, terrorist groups vying for power, and the modernization of existing nuclear arsenals — these are all part of a new age of nuclear insecurity that also offers unprecedented opportunity for innovation. That’s the groundbreaking approach pioneered by N Square, an organization dedicated to nuclear security in this dangerous new age and supported by the nation's largest peace and security funders. Cater Communications has helped N Square reach target audiences through private meetings, salon dinners and pop-up labs in Maine, San Francisco and Chicago. When N Square challenged gamers to save the world in real life by designing a game to engage players in nuclear security issues, Cater Communications secured coverage in VentureBeat, Polygon and Popular Technology Radio, and helped generate widespread social media buzz.
ROLL ON, CLEANER TRUCKS
Industry leaders and top consumer experts care about making trucks cleaner and more fuel-efficient. Working with Cater Communications, they called for more stringent standards. Frito Lay and other CALSTART members joined vehicles expert Jack Gillis of the Consumer Federation of America to talk to journalists about the issue, generating coverage in The Wall Street Journal, ClimateWire, and Fleet Owner.
To encourage re-adoption of California’s historic Low Carbon Fuel Standard, Cater Communications worked with Ceres, California Treasurer John Chiang and other top business leaders to highlight its economic, consumer and security benefits. Cater placed an opinion column in the Sacramento Bee and a letter to the editor in the San Jose Mercury News, while encouraging the San Francisco Chronicle to editorialize in favor of strong standards.