Editor's Note: This story was clarified at 11:27 a.m. on Feb. 25, 2011, to reflect Bill Teator's current status as a lobbyist.
Bill Teator, a lobbyist whose clients have included several energy companies, will chair a panel U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson is putting together to develop a regional energy strategy that will include locating a nuclear plant in the region.
Teator, who was executive director of Gibson's congressional campaign, will serve as an unpaid volunteer on the panel, which will hold its first meeting on March 23 at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's STEP park in Malta, said Stephanie Valle, a spokesman for Gibson, R-Kinderhook.
"I support an ‘all-of-the-above' energy policy that includes investments in solar, wind, biomass, hydro and nuclear energy. All of these industries will be represented on my Energy Advisory Council," Gibson said in a press release announcing the March 23 meeting.
Teator is president and chief executive officer of Capital Advocates, a lobbying and communications firm with offices in Saratoga Springs and Washington, D.C.
The firm's clients have included Energy East Corp., now known as Iberdrola USA, a wind energy company; and Farmers of Clean Air & Water, a coalition of agricultural organizations, according to the firm's web site.
Other clients listed on the website include New York State Electric & Gas, Central Maine Power, and Rochester Gas & Electric.
Teator said on Friday that he stopped representing the energy companies in 2009 and stopped representing the agriculture coalition about four years ago.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Wednesday issued a press release criticizing Gibson's selection of Teator to head the panel.
"Bill Teator has been paid tens of thousands of dollars to look out for the interests of energy companies, and that's exactly what he'll continue to do in his new role for Rep. Chris Gibson," said Josh Schwerin, northeast regional spokesman for the campaign committee, which is the political arm of the House Democratic conference.
Schwerin previously was the spokesman for U.S. Rep. Scott Murphy, D-Glens Falls, whom Gibson defeated in November.
Valle, the Gibson spokeswoman, said Teator will be one of many members of the panel.
"The panel is going to be made up of a broad range of interests - organized labor to government leaders to people advancing renewable energy like solar or wind or hydro. So I think it's pretty unfair to say that we're advancing any one particular interest or person's objective," she said.
Valle said Gibson is still seeking commitments from volunteers to serve on the panel.
The complete membership will be announced prior to the March 23 meeting.