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A ProPublica database tells a story about Colorado’s shifting energy landscape and its advocacy organizations


Colorado has many non-profits engaged in the conversation about energy. There are environmental groups, of course, as well as advocacy groups from within the energy sector.

ProPublica, the investigative journalism organization, made it easy to compare and contrast the revenue of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association, or COGA, and of the Colorado Solar and Storage Association going back to 2011.

COGA was established in 1984 and became the premier voice for oil and gas operators. The American Petroleum Institute, a national organization, also has a significant voice at times and has a Colorado affiliate.

How big is the COGA budget? The 990 filing for 2022 showed total revenue of nearly $3 million. Annual revenue for the organization has fluctuated since 2011 between a low of $2.5 million and a high of $5.5 million. The average was around $3.7 million.

COSSA – the Colorado Solar and Storage Association, not be confused with the Colorado Self-Storage Association — was founded in 1989. It was then called the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association. It had revenues in 2022 of $1.3 million, or less than half that of the oil and gas organization.

What stands out is the growth of COSSA’s budget over time. In 2011, the budget was $271,000. The budget grew then declined then began growing to $783,000 in 2021, the most year for data on the ProPublica database.

Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, or SWEEP, is Colorado based but has a broader mission, with staff members in six of the seven states of the Colorado River Basin. It has a primary focus of energy. It was founded in 2001 and gained tax-exempt status in 2003. By 2011, it was reporting annual revenues of $1.6 million. It has  maintained a steady revenue stream, dropping to $1.45 million before expanding to a high of $2.3 million. In 2021, the most recent year available, the revenue was $1.8 million.

Salaries of the executives can also be found on the 990 forms. COGA’s Dan Haley in 2022 got $367,574 in compensation. COSSA’s Mike Kruger got $117,700.

In 2021, SWEEP’s Elise Jones was paid $146,667, while Howard Geller, its former executive director, got $118,953.

Allen Best
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