Who We Are
AWEC is a non-profit organization comprised of the largest, most innovative and trusted employers in the West. AWEC provides a strong advocacy voice in shaping the dynamics of energy markets and regulatory policy in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. AWEC was formed April 1, 2018, through joining the Industrial Customers of Northwest Utilities and the Northwest Industrial Gas Users groups into a single entity.
AWEC members provide tens of thousands of highly paid technical jobs. AWEC has a large and diversified base of members that represent industries such as agriculture, aeronautics, air products, metals, pulp and paper, information technology, and more.
AWEC's Significant Presence in the West
More than 160 facilities, employing more than 170,000 employees in Oregon and Washington
The mission of AWEC is to be the leading advocate for member businesses in the west on issues related to the use, availability and affordability of electricity and natural gas. AWEC supports sustainable and strong economic growth within the western United States.
AWEC accomplishes its mission by representing members' interests before regulatory agencies and policymakers at the utility, state, regional, and federal levels. AWEC’s actions are based on the fundamental belief that a healthy, growing business environment promotes a rich and vibrant economy.
Benefits of Membership
An AWEC membership is an efficient and cost-effective way to help you control your energy costs and stay informed on energy issues, which enables you to make the best strategic decisions for your business.
AWEC members have an effective voice in rate cases and other regulatory proceedings that directly affect energy costs and profitability. Members of AWEC have the ability to help shape policies and outcomes that affect their energy costs. Members set the priorities and principled positions of the association, which results in a bottom-line payback on their investment in AWEC.
AWEC keeps members up to date on all critical energy issues affecting their operations. This information is timely, comprehensive, and understandable. In addition, AWEC experts are on call to answer questions and provide more information on an issue whenever you need it.
AWEC hosts at least three information-packed meetings per year where you can get up to speed on the latest energy developments around the region and discuss hot topics with top-level guest speakers. AWEC also co-hosts an in-depth annual energy conference with the Northwest Gas Association. These meetings provide the invaluable opportunity to network and share experiences with other industries and utilities. With information from around the region, members know what works and what risks to be aware of when making independent business decisions.
Associate Membership is open to those businesses which have interest in the activities of AWEC, and whose business purposes do not conflict with the goals and purposes of AWEC. Benefits of associate membership include communication and networking.
John Carr, Executive Director
AWEC is led by executive director, John Carr. Mr. Carr has more than 30 years of experience as a recognized leader and executive in the energy industry. His wide range of experience includes public policy, corporate strategy, contract negotiation and political affairs. John has
in-depth knowledge of energy markets in the West.
He previously led a different organization of industrial energy users and also held an executive position at PacifiCorp, a multi-state investor-owned utility.
Natural Gas Director
AWEC’s Director of Natural Gas is Ed Finklea. Mr. Finklea
has been a regulatory attorney in the energy field for
over 35 years. His experience includes serving as a
lawyer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Bonneville Power Administration, and in-house counsel for NW Natural and NiSource Corporate Services. From 1986 until 2008, Mr. Finklea engaged in the private
practice of law representing the Northwest Industrial
Gas Users (NWIGU) among other clients in regulatory interventions before the Oregon Public Utility
Commission, the Washington Utilities and Transportation
Commission and FERC. Prior to becoming AWEC's Director of Natural Gas in April of 2018, Ed was Executive Director of the Northwest Industrial Gas Users.
2019 - 2020 AWEC Officers
Officers serve staggered three-year terms.
Matt Ruckwardt, Schnitzer Steel - Chair
Bruce Martin, Westrock - Vice Chair
Michael Padgett, Alcoa - Treasurer
Bruce Wittmann, Nippon Dynawave Packaging, Weyerhaeuser NR - Secretary
Ed Finklea, Natural Gas Director
Energy Strategies, LLC - Strategic Management and Administration, Kevin Higgins and Kelly Francone. Energy Strategies is an independent energy consulting firm founded in 1986. Its clients include large commercial, industrial and public sector energy users and energy project developers. ES helps large energy users navigate in complex regulatory, market and policy arenas.
Davison Van Cleve - Legal Counsel. Davison Van Cleve specializes in all aspects of energy law, practicing before state and federal administrative entities. DVC provides valuable advocacy and advice to AWEC and other industrial or commercial customers, co-operative utilities, and cogeneration facilities. The law firm works with numerous utility commissions, power administrations, regulatory divisions, and business owners to ensure utility regulation is fair and balanced.
Cable Huston - Cable Huston represents industrial and commercial retail customers of investor-owned utilities in all aspects of energy and public utility law, as well as municipal-owned governments and consumer-owned utilities, and independent power producers.
Public Affairs Counsel - Salem, Oregon Representative. Public Affairs Counsel lobbies on behalf of AWEC at the Oregon Legislature on energy policy.
The TSB Communications Group - Olympia, Washington Representative. The TSB Group lobbies on behalf of AWEC before the Washington Legislature on energy policy.