Ex-Biden Aide Doubles Client List With Energy, Education Clients

  • Putala Strategies, run by Chris Putala, specializes in telecom
  • New clients are in energy, education sectors

Chris Putala, a former Judiciary Committee aide to then-Sen. Joe Biden, has signed up four renewable and clean energy clients, according to newly filed forms.

He’ll be lobbying on issues involving “development of clean energy production, storage, and transmission,” the disclosure documents say without going into further detail.

The new clients on his roster include solar and wind energy companies Clearway Energy Group LLC, Pattern Energy Group Services LP, and Apex Clean Energy Holdings LLC, and clean energy company IP Renewable Energy Holdings LLC. He also registered to lobby for SLM Corp., the student loan provider commonly known as Sallie Mae, on “matters concerning origination and servicing of private education loans.”

Putala, who runs his own firm called PutalaStrategies, didn’t return a request for comment about the work, which doubles his client list.

The registrations appear to represent his first major foray outside of tech policy, as the Biden administration wants to make climate issues a priority for Congress and federal regulators. Biden has a number of higher education proposals, including student debt relief. The issue is also being discussed on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) want to move even more aggressively.

Putala Strategies earned $1.2 million in lobbying fees last year from five tech and telecommunications clients: NCTA — The Internet and Television Association, Oracle America Inc., Comcast Corp., Ligado Networks LLC, and Sprint Communications Inc. and T-Mobile US Inc. Sprint and T-Mobile merged last year.

Putala’s resume also includes working as a lobbyist at CTIA — The Wireless Association. From 1989 to 1998, he was a professional staff member for the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to his LinkedIn profile. Biden was chair of the panel from 1987 to 1995.

To contact the reporter on this story: Megan R. Wilson in Washington at mwilson@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kyle Trygstad at ktrygstad@bgov.com; Bennett Roth at broth@bgov.com

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