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Energy and Environment Experience

Ben's energy and environment experience extends over thirty years. Here are seven subject matter-specific highlights: 

  • Energy Policy - Finzel managed the launch of the American Energy Innovation Council, a seven-member group of CEOs (including Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, Bill Gates, Jeff Immelt and John Doerr among others) focused on building support for increased federal spending on energy research and development. He provided advice and counsel to PJM, the operators of the electric grid in the Mid-Atlantic, focused on energy policy and positioning of the organization with relevant stakeholders. He developed the “Clean Energy for the 21st Century” brand used by the U.S. Department of Energy to brand all energy efficiency and renewable energy announcements leading up to the beginning of the 21st century. As a legislative staffer, he provided advice and counsel on the Energy Policy Act of 1995.


  • Energy Efficiency - Finzel developed and managed national energy efficiency campaigns on home energy use and transportation for the Alliance to Save Energy. He provided stakeholder advice and counsel for the launch of the first international contest to identify the most energy efficient flat screen televisions for CLASP and the debut of one of the first mainstream consumer LED lightbulbs for GE Lighting. He developed a partnership between P&G, the Alliance to Save Energy and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in support of the launch of Tide Coldwater, the first laundry detergent specifically formulated for cold water washing (to save money and energy).


  • Renewable Energy - Finzel helped the American Wind Energy Association develop the wind industry’s national communications program and served as an outside consultant for more than five years. He advised the Solar Energy Industries Association on media and stakeholder engagement in support of the industry’s communications objectives in the months after the Solyndra failure.


  • Environmental Protection – Finzel managed the stakeholder engagement program for “It All Adds Up” the collaborative effort by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Transportation to engage local advocacy organizations in promoting clean transportation options to the public. He worked with the Western Environmental Law Center to announce the winning design for the first-ever international design competition to design the “wildlife crossing of the future” that would balance transportation and wildlife protection issues at highway crossings. He led the media team that supported the Worldwide Fund for Nature in the global launch of the Living Planet Campaign from London. He managed the team that provided media outreach and onsite management support to the President’s Commission on the BP Oil Spill for their first two public meetings (in New Orleans and Washington, D.C.). He supported media relations efforts related to climate change legislation for the Natural Resources Defense Council. As a legislative staffer, he provided advice and counsel on the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.


  • Natural Resources Protection - Finzel partnered with the Archeological Conservancy and National Parks and Conservation Association to develop the federal legislation that preserved additional "outlier" sites around the Chaco Canyon National Historic Park for future generations. He worked with the elected leadership of Taos Pueblo in New Mexico to develop the federal legislation that protected sacred Native American religious sites on Taos Mountain. Finzel led a successful ad hoc effort to stop passage of legislation that would have established a process to consider closure of National Parks. 


  • Climate Change and Sustainable Development – Finzel developed and led the team that managed the Washington, D.C. event launching the Combat Climate Change initiative in the U.S., working with companies from three continents and the King of Sweden. Finzel worked with the Portland Cement Association to develop and conduct a sustainable development partnerships program that brought industry and outside experts together to help chart a course for future industry engagement on related issues. On behalf of Council member SCJohnson, he provided media support for the launch of the first report by the President’s Council on Sustainable Development during President Bill Clinton’s first term.


  • Clean Transportation – Finzel led the media team that supported the opening of the first publicly accessible hydrogen refueling station in the United States for Shell Hydrogen and the media team that launched the trucking industry’s first national sustainability program. He also developed and managed an industry communications program promoting the role of platinum in fuel cells, catalytic converters and other technologies for the International Platinum Association and advised Enterprise Rent-A-Car on the development of their industry-leading corporate sustainability program. 

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