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Today, ALEC Brings Lawmakers and Big Oil Together to Undermine Clean Energy

Rebecca Leber
Think Progress / News Report
Published: Friday 11 May 2012
“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.”
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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 Economy wide 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 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.

ALEC and the Oilers are prime

ALEC and the Oilers are prime proof that Industry as a whole lacks the perceptions and the capacity for self-denial that are now needed, in order to start leaving oil and coal behind us.

They will push, push, push, and push some more, so long as they can continue to squeeze money out of black gold. Not until the MONEY says jump, will they even consider doing the right thing for people and for the environment. When oil is three or four hundred dollars per barrel, they will finally start considering how to make money from renewables, and how to sell their "new" direction to the public as the best way to go.

Thankfully, these guys also own Teevee, so it will not be a hard sell for them when they change their minds. It will be as if (presto!) they were ALWAYS for renewables.

Gosh, doncha remember all those ads we put out (they'll say), with flowers all over them, touting the benefits of a renewable lifestyle? -- Oh, you were confused by our simultaneous panning of, and legislation against, renewables? Don't be confused; it simply didn't make economic sense for our share-holders at the time; whereas it DID make sense to sell that idea to the markets, to counter the Liberals' evil spin (that we now support, in part, just so long as we can still make our profits).

No one ever legislated that we had to tell people the, um, TRUTH (they will say, out of the sides of their mouths)!

Use some of Monsanto's 2,4D

Use some of Monsanto's 2,4D on the Kochroaches and those that are using the Kochroaches to their own advantage - I think that would be an excellent use for it. If those lawmakers that WE believed and elected are poisoned by that which THEY have deemed safe, so be it!!

ALEC-owned politician whores

ALEC-owned politician whores don't need to know how to think, write legislation, or campaign. The Kochroaches will do it all for them.

Hydrogen technology NOW!

Hydrogen technology NOW! Bring it on, show these idiots they're the losers!Before they destroy the whole planet with their conniving power games!They can't fool us any longer, we know what they're doing. There is plenty clean energy around for all of us, we just need to tap into it, develop the means to use it. And we must GET RID OF THE USURPERS WHO DO NOTHING BUT GRAB, GRAB, GRAB WHATEVER THEY CAN GET THEIR MANICURED HANDS ON!!!!

What the dirty energy

What the dirty energy industry is up to is analogous to being in a tree and sawing away at a branch that you are on the wrong side of. Yes there are profits to be made but the long term certainity is that a crash is coming. It might be caused by more serious accidents like Fukushima or the Gulf disaster and it might be caused by the oil industry becoming so fat and complacent it has no chance of competing with new clean energy technologies but it is coming. If these guys had any vision they would be supporting the clean energy industry as this will at least keep them incentivised to remain efficient.

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