May 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Schumer aide jumps to clean energy lobbying firm


Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Pioneer Public Affairs, a lobbying firm focused on climate and clean energy, unveiled new hires Thursday including Charlie Ellsworth, who until weeks ago was a budget aide to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Driving the news: Other names include Dr. Sweta Chakraborty — whose resume includes work with the climate action social network We Don't Have Time — and Brian Willis, who spent years with the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign.

  • The firm was founded by Joe Britton, who was formerly chief of staff for Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich.
  • Bloomberg's piece on the firm notes that he's been "quietly building up the new venture over the past year."

Of note: A news release notes Ellsworth worked for Schumer on budget reconciliation, the process that makes certain spending and revenue measures immune from filibuster.

  • It's how Democrats moved the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan earlier this year and may become the pathway for moving climate-related infrastructure and tax measures.

Catch up fast: Clients include the advocacy group Climate Power, the big power company NextEra Energy Resources (with hydrogen as a focus), and Charm Industrial, a startup with negative emissions tech that converts waste biomass into an oil that's injected underground.

What we're watching: Pioneer is working with multiple clients on carbon storage matters, and Willis tells Axios that one focus is on changing the tax code so that existing storage incentives apply to carbon in liquid and solid form.

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