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Americans for Balanced Energy Choices, We Energies – Power the Future Project

Coalition-building and Media Relations

When We Energies decided to build Wisconsin’s first coal plant in more than two decades, opposition was fiercely vocal and well financed. Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC), a national group that builds public and consumer understanding of the role coal plays in today’s energy mix, hired Flaherty & Associates to help build the case for We Energies Power the Future plant. Our focus was two-fold: media relations and stakeholder education. We successfully recruited third party ambassadors from more than 50 state associations that had a vested interest in affordable energy. And we educated editors and reporters around the state, resulting in supportive and thoughtful editorials, guest columns and stories.

The battle for public opinion was hard-fought, but in the end, the Public Service Commission believed that coal was critical to Wisconsin’s energy mix, and approved construction of the new plants.

What did our customer say:

Flaherty & Associates was a big help during our effort to build support for Power the Future II, the state’s biggest power plant construction project in history. They helped build third-party champions, recruiting roughly 60 groups to join us as supporters. Those groups were essential in winning public support and Public Service Commission approval. Flaherty & Associates also helped us speak constructively with the media – including helping us take a strong stand on why coal as a fuel made sense for two of these power plants – and for Wisconsin.

Barry McNulty, Manager of Media Relations and Special Projects
We Energies Corporation