Association of Electric Companies of Texas
Spring 2013 Site Review
Position: Legislative Aide
Student: Government Senior
This semester I interned with the Association of Electric Companies of Texas or AECT for short. AECT is a lobbying organization that provides a forum for member companies to discuss upcoming legislation in a private setting in order to reach a general consensus and determine the correct course of action for the industry as a whole. In a sense, the association serves as a gatekeeper of information between the major players in the industry and the public. In doing so, the electric industry in Texas has developed a strong voice within the legislature.
During the interim AECT is a relatively quiet entity with only four permanent employees. When session rolls around, however, they will pick up anywhere from one to three interns to assist with daily activities around the office. Fortunately they are extremely accommodating when it comes to scheduling so there should be no problem taking classes and interning for them as I am currently doing.
Depending on whether or not I have class, each day I arrive between 8-930. There is usually a market sector council meeting in the morning in which representatives from each of our member companies come together to discuss any pressing issues that may have arisen since their last meeting. In the afternoons, they will usually call a meeting for our external lobbyists (hired guns) and delegate any remaining tasks that were not covered in the market sector council meetings.
As an intern it has been my responsibility to create and maintain a database of all lobby assignments that have been issued over the course of this session. This is done to track the progression of both the bills we are lobbying for/against and the nature of our responses to these bills. In this way, AECT is able to provide an accurate and detailed account of our actions to any of our member companies who should wish to see such an account. If accountability is the name of the game, I’m the guy that makes sure all our ducks are in a row before the higher-ups go about defending our work.