Energy & Power Subcommittee chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) are the most visible politicians in digital media, receiving total influence scores of 3,983 and 3,591 respectively, according to the first Text100 Digital Index: Energy, which determines the most visible US influencers within the energy industry.
The study evaluated the key energy players amongst politicians, journalists and analysts to find the most influential members of each group based on social and traditional media prominence.
“From coal and the Keystone Pipeline to Solyndra and investments in renewable sources, the topic of energy has been widely discussed and debated this year,” says Aedhmar Hynes, CEO of Text100. “We set out to discover who is shaping perceptions in energy, what issues they are discussing and how prominently they are featured, to help brands determine the most appropriate influencers to engage.”
Influence was scored based on media prominence in their discussion of energy strategy, including domestic drilling, coal and the renewable energy market and other clean energy sources in both traditional media as well as blogs. Both the Congressman and Senator were found to be vocal around the Keystone Energy Pipeline debate, which dominated political energy discussions in the last year.
Renewable energy sources and clean energy as the top energy issues discussed in the political sphere, shaping 42 percent of the energy conversation.
Other politicians ranked in the top 10 most influential included Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-MN), Rep. Don Young (R-AK), Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Gov. Sam Brownback (R-AK), Gov. Edmund Gerald Brown (D-CA.) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
Eric Wesoff, editor-in-chief of Greentech Media is the top ranked journalist within the energy media. His coverage of the Solyndra bankruptcy, along with his broad range of coverage on renewable energy sources and electric vehicles made him the most prominent journalist for energy issues with a top influencer score of 952.
Among journalists, oil, climate change and Solyndra generated the most buzz, accounting for 50 percent of media coverage. Other top journalists included Jonathan Fahey, The Associated Press; Andrew Restuccia, Politico; Wendy Koch, USA Today; and David Roberts, Grist.
Christine Tezak with ClearView Energy Partners, formerly of Baird Research, and Sam Jaffe of IDC Energy Insights were found to be the most visible analysts for the energy sector. Tezak’s analysis of climate change issues, including coal emissions and domestic drilling and her position as a source for top media such as Reuters and Bloomberg gave her an overall influence score of 893. Jaffe’s coverage of emerging energy issues, such as energy storage and electric vehicles, ranked him second with an overall influence score of 537.