Climate

Today, ALEC Brings Lawmakers And Big Oil Together To Undermine Clean Energy

Today, behind closed doors in Charlotte, North Carolina, legislators from 15 states will meet with the oil and gas industry to discuss so-called “model legislation” as part of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The result could be laws that handicap renewable energy targets — while creating loopholes for fossil fuels, written directly by the oil and gas industry itself.

ALEC has faced backlash recently for its role in crafting Florida’s Stand Your Ground laws. Now the organization is taking the same secretive approach to kill renewable energy development across the country.

Oil and gas corporations have a very strong role in politics through groups like Americans For Prosperity, American Petroleum Institute, and, of course, ALEC. Four of the largest oil and gas corporations and two of the most profitable U.S. corporations overall, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and BP, sit on ALEC’s task forces. And so today, according to documents posted by Common Cause, representatives from these and other energy groups will discuss potential legislation that would undermine clean energy standards and limit regulations of polluting industries.

The agenda items illustrate ALEC’s objectives. An economist from the oil lobby American Petroleum Institute leads a discussion on oil and gas prices, and a few of the panels include, “The Dirty Truth Behind Reusable Bags” and “Resolution Supporting a Reasonable Compliance Timeline and Economywide Impact Study of EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Rule.” Peabody Energy — one of the largest coal companies in the world — will give the presentation on “Regulation Through Litigation Of Greenhouse Gases Is Unsound Public Policy.”

ALEC already benefits from special exemption from some state laws: For example, South Carolina, Indiana, and Colorado have specifically exempted ALEC from lobbying status.

The oil industry’s astroturfing does not end with ALEC. Heartland Institute, part of the consortium of ultra-conservative think tanks leading a broad attack on clean energy, will also speak at ALEC’s meeting. Americans For Prosperity, funded by money from the Koch brothers, is also involved in Big Oil’s PR campaign against clean energy.

We have already seen oil dominating election ad spending this year, with well over $24 million spent by groups like Americans for Prosperity and American Energy Alliance since January. More than 80 percent of election year attack ads have focused on energy — all of them thoroughly debunked.

16 Responses to Today, ALEC Brings Lawmakers And Big Oil Together To Undermine Clean Energy

  1. prokaryotes says:

    This is on top of reddit now

    Conservative Think-tanks Launch Campaign to Turn Americans Against Wind Energy: Documents show for the first time that local anti-wind groups are co-ordinating and working with national fossil-fuel funded advocacy groups to wreck the wind industry. http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/ti1r2/conservative_thinktanks_launch_campaign_to_turn/

  2. Joe Bickner says:

    So, uh, what happened to the “free market” you conservatives love so much?

  3. facts lean left says:

    Conservatives have no use for the Free Market, never have, never will. In fact, conservatives are the people we chased down and killed to form this country. Now we can all see why.

  4. Sime says:

    When I was young the America was amazing, scientific, innovative, free, and democratic, essentially a working example of how most other countries wanted to be. Americans were the first to walk on the moon, you were world leaders in almost everything.

    Pity you have tossed it all in the bin to satisfy the greed of a bunch of corporates muppets who are more fearful of loosing their annual bonuses than they are of the ultimate effects of climate change.

    Your politicians (mostly GOP / Republican) have sold you out fo 30 pieces of silver to greedy corporate enteties, while you all sit and watch garbage on the TV instead of getting up off your collective backsides and sorting this out.

    Bill Clinton was spot on when he asserted that you appear to other countries as a joke, because you do.

    You should all hang your heads in shame.

  5. ZoeyKay says:

    I like how conservatives are the ones who keep screaming that they want the government to stay out of the businesses, but here are the businesses, snuggling up to the government, in hopes of increasing their profits at the expense of the American people. How patriotic!

    Also, if government is supposed to stay out of the businesses, then should the oil subsidies be stopped?

  6. RH factor says:

    Polluter-Bullies who sneak around screwing the planets future for first quarter profits, are targeted and identified.

    Sneaky rich people who bully your kids future into living hell. Why are we living in a bad sci-fi without a correction?

  7. rat618 says:

    Explain to me again why the Democrats chose Charlotte for their convention. A state that bars same sex marriage and a city that hosts Alec shouldn’t benefit from the money the convention will bring.

  8. Mathew Waldrop says:

    “Free market”*

    *Free to do things that don’t affect out profit (which undermines a true capitalistic economy)

  9. SecularAnimist says:

    These people are not “conservatives” any more than they are “skeptics”.

    They call themselves “conservatives” to bamboozle gullible dupes, but what they really are is bought-and-paid-for corporate stooges.

    Their fake, phony, trumped-up, Madison Avenue-scripted, focus-group-tested, so-called “conservative” pseudo-ideology and pseudo-economics are bogus as their denialist pseudo-science.

  10. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    This development is entirely predictable. Wind energy threatens billions in profits and trillions in assets of the fossil fuel industry. And environmentalism is despised with visceral savagery by the Right, which is plainly determined to destroy it, by any means that come to hand. There are very dark times, very close ahead.

  11. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The Right has always preferred rigged markets, rackets, stand-over tactics, Ponzi schemes, fraud, larceny, foot-paddery, kleptomania and the shake-down. What matters is the loot, and how it is obtained is absolutely irrelevant, although they do gain considerable psychic satisfaction from ripping others off. How else do you explain the record global inequality, within and between states, still growing like topsy. As Gore Vidal observed, perhaps not entirely originally, ‘It is not enough to succeed-others must fail’.

  12. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    They are not ‘conservatives’ as they will destroy anything and everything in their lust for money and power. They are radical misanthropes, whose perverted psychology is dominated by the fear and hatred of others. This may have been an advantage while roaming the savannah and fighting for survival, but is plainly a deadly incubus restraining humanity from evolving to anything higher or more likely to survive into the far future. Indeed, into the near future.

  13. Paul Magnus says:

    http://bigthink.com/econ201/winners-and-losers-in-a-superpower-less-world

    This flattening of the global power structure, paired with the disappearance of superpowers pushing economic systems backed by opposing ideologies, truly has left every nation to fight for itself. As a result, Bremmer says, forming coalitions to address problems such as climate change will be especially difficult. When these problems get out of hand, new conflicts may occur, raising the cost of doing business around the world.

  14. Paul Magnus says:

    greedmongers …

  15. Debbie1Democrat says:

    ALEC and Americans for Prosperity (aka Koch brothers) need to be stopped at all costs. There is no reason why it should be so expensive that a home can’t have one or two solar panels on it. The only reason is Koch…the electric companies don’t want us to sell any electric back to them. They want us dependent on them for everything. Koch’s are pure evil!

  16. KGHundley says:

    So, in the face of this conservative gobble-de-gook, what are we, the Other Side, doing to counter these purely power-hungry, greed-driven who are willing to sacrifice the best that America was to gain the control of what WAS the best of democracy? Surely there is a large portion of US citizens who are sick to death of BOTH party politics – sick of refusal to work together to find solutions instead of problems, to work together instead of name-calling and subversive tactics to gain this sought-after power.
    What can WE do, aside from always sending money to first one name, then another, what can we DO to call a halt to the forces for power that are driving our country into the dirt?? Who has done more that talk about the problem? Who is ready to ‘call to arms’ those of us who don’t have bank accounts from which to send $$$ after $$$, but who ARE ready and willing to ACT? I’m waiting to hear from more than talk, THEN I’ll sign on.

    KG Hundley