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Lisa A. Sano Blocker is a career lobbyist and Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at Energy Future Holdings (EFH), a Dallas-based, privately held energy company with a portfolio of energy companies serving the Texas electricity market: Luminant, TXU and Oncor.
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
Energy Future Holdings
In 2010, EFH had an $8.2 billion revenue and its CEO received $1.2 million in compensation.
Other Controversy Regarding Energy Future Holdings
On March 18, 2011 the Sierra Club released a report stating that three of Energy Future Holdings' subsidiary Luminant's coal plants in East Texas should be shut down because the facilities do not meet Clean Air Act standards and need $3.6 billion in upgrades in order to comply with federal regulations.
The three plants targeted were Big Brown, Monticello Steam Station and the Martin Lake Steam Station plant. The Sierra Club expressed concern about "the major threats to air and water pollution that citizens in the Barnett Shale [in North Texas] are dealing with firsthand."
The study recommended:
"[R]eplacement of three coal fired power plants built in the 1970’s (Big Brown, Monticello and Martin Lake) is a financial and environmental necessity. The plants, currently owned by Energy Future Holding/Luminant and serving North Texas are financially mismanaged, cannot compete profitably in the current market, require pollution control upgrades that are unaffordable and have suffered deep losses in market value. The financial outlook for the company and the plants going forward show very little upside. A broad look at the national and Texas energy market suggest planning tools and resources exist to ensure a smooth transition to a more financially stable and reliable supply of electricity."
In 2011, EFH lobbied the federal government with regard to energy and nuclear power, clean air and water, utilities, environment and superfund, federal budget and appropriations, commodities, finance, taxes and transportation. For example, in the first quarter of 2011, EFH lobbyist Allison Limbaugh lobbied the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on "issues affecting the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and natural gas pipelines; other air and solid waste issues affecting power plant operations. H.R. 1- 'Continuing Appropriation Act of 2011'; S.482 and H.R. 910- 'Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011'; Stabenow amend #265 to S.493- 'SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011'; Baucus amend #236 to S. 493; S.231- 'EPA Stationary Sources Regulations Suspension Act'; [and] S.228- 'Defending America's Affordable Energy and Jobs Act.'"
Electronic Data Systems
Blocker previously worked as a longtime lobbyist for Electronic Data Systems (EDS) Corporation, a global information technology services company that claims to have "founded the information technology outsourcing industry" when it was established in 1962 by Ross Perot.
Controversy Regarding Electronic Data Systems
According to the Wall Street Journal, "the Social Security Act of 1965 created Medicare and Medicaid[,] and EDS designed a system to process insurance claims and payments for Texas’s program.... In 1978, EDS expanded into financial markets by introducing automated teller machines, electronic funds transfer and real-time point-of-sale terminals. In 1988, it acquired MTech Corp., an operator of automated teller machines, for $347 million. By 1997 it became the country’s largest maker of ATMs. "
In 2001, EDS subsidiary National Heritage Insurance Company (NHIC), which had "handled Texas' Medicaid billings since 1977," was accused of fraudulently doubling administrative costs charges billed to the state. In 1999, NHIC "political leaders killed a [Texas Health Department] staff proposal to crack down on ephedrine-based diet products linked to eight Texas deaths.... In the 1998 election cycle, the EDS PAC doled out $45,750 to state politicians, led by the $12,500 it gave to [then] Gov. Bush.... In late 1997—just before the new contract—36 lobbyists reported EDS income of between $1.3 million and $2.1 million. EDS had 14 staff lobbyists registered at that time, led by Lisa A. Sano Blocker."
At the time of the EDS Medicaid controversy in 2001, Blocker was also a member of the Texas State E-Commerce and Technology Advisory Group.
Currently, Blocker is also a member of the National Conference of State Legislatures and served on the Development Committee in 2010-2011. She is also a Board Member of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, the State Government Affairs Council-- a "national association for multi-state government affairs professionals of 172 major U.S. corporations, trade associations and service providers," which offers a "lobbying certificate program," as of January 2011-- and the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association-- a lobby group based in Austin, Texas.
Articles and Resources
- Lobbyists Directory: Lisa A. Sano Blocker, Texas Tribune lobbying database, accessed July 8, 2011
- "About EHF" EFH Website, accessed September 2010.
- American Legislative Exchange Council, Private Enterprise Board, organizational website, accessed July 8, 2011
- "Energy Future Holdings Corp.: Our Owners" Energy Future Holdings Corp., accessed July 2010.
- Energy Future Holdings 2010 10-K (PDF), SEC Filing, February 18, 2011
- "Sierra Club calls for closure of three Luminant coal plants in Texas" Jack Z. Smith, Star-Telegram, March 17, 2011.
- "The Case to Retire Big Brown, Monticello and Martin Lake Coal Plants," prepared for Sierra Club by Tom Sanzillo, TR Rose Associates, March 17, 2011
- Center for Responsive Politics Energy Future Holdings Corp.: Issues, OpenSecrets.org lobbying database, accessed June 9, 2011
- Ryan MacKinnon Vasapoli and Berzok LLP Lobbying Report (PDF), Federal filing, April 20, 2011
- Political People and Their Moves, Texas Tribune, Texas Weekly newsletter: Volume 16, Issue 45, May 22, 2000
- Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. HP to Acquire EDS for $13.9 Billion, News release, May 13, 2008
- Joe Mantone A Look Back at EDS: From Ross Perot to Cowboys Herding Cats, Wall Street Journal Deal Journal blog, May 12, 2008
- Franklin Paul HP to buy EDS for $12.6 bln in challenge to IBM, Reuters, May 13, 2008
- Texans for Public Justice Following the Money Trail: Behind the EDS Mess, Lobby Watch newsletter, February 27, 2001
- Carol Keeton Rylander, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Report of the Texas E-Commerce and Technology Advisory Group: Texas Tax Policy and E-Commerce Issues (E-TAG Report), Texas E-Commerce and Technology Advisory Group Report, February 7, 2001
- National Conference of State Legislatures, NCSL Foundation for State Legislatures Board Sub-Committees, organization website, accessed June 3, 2011
- State Governmental Affairs Council Home, organization website, accessed June 3, 2011
- Elizabeth Bartz A Great Opportunity to Keep Learning, Lobby Comply Blog, January 31, 2011
- ZoomInfo Sano Blocker, Board Member, Texas Taxpayers and Research, online business profile, accessed June 3, 2011
- Texas Ethics Commission 2010 Lobby List with Concerns (Employers and Clients) Sorted by Lobbyist Name Part I (A-D), online state lobbyist registry, December 31, 2010
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