Clean Power

Published on April 26th, 2012 | by Stephen Lacey


ALEC Received Funding from Koch Industries & Exxon Mobil to Craft Legislation Aimed at Repealing Renewable Energy Standards

April 26th, 2012 by  

This article was originally published on Climate Progress and has been reposted with permission.

Two leading conservative political organizations say they are stepping up coordinated efforts to repeal state-level renewable energy targets.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — a “stealth business lobbyist” that works with corporate interests to help them write and implement “model” legislation — says it may soon start crafting laws designed to kill or weaken state targets for renewable electricity, heating and fuels.

ALEC has come under fire in recent weeks for its support of voter ID laws and the controversial Stand-Your-Ground law that opponents blame for the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. After progressive groups began an aggressive campaign to educate the public about ALEC, 13 companies have since pulled their membership from the organization.

Last July, Bloomberg News acquired tax documents showing that Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil and other energy companies paid membership fees to ALEC in order to help write legislation repealing carbon pollution reduction programs in states around country.

Bloomberg now reports that ALEC is looking to take aim at renewable energy programs in states:

ALEC, a group of state lawmakers and corporations recently criticized for its support of Stand-Your-Ground laws highlighted in the Florida shooting of Trayvon Martin, may write model legislation for state lawmakers to repeal or weaken the mandates later this year, said Todd Wynn, energy, environment and agriculture task force director for the group, in an interview. Stand-Your-Ground laws allows citizens to use force when threatened, even when they can retreat.

The group may also develop an “energy freedom” index that ranks states based on regulation, market intervention and taxes.

ALEC has already attempted to write legislation preventing targets for renewable energy on the federal level. As nothing substantive has happened nationally, it seems ALEC is now preparing to take its corporate-influenced legislation to the 29 states that actually have targets in place.

Along with promoting legislation to kill climate policies and renewable energy targets, ALEC also provided the framework for legislation currently moving through the U.S. House of Representatives that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating toxic coal ash.

According to the Center for Media and Democracy, Peabody Energy — the largest private coal company in the world — is a major underwriter for ALEC and sits on the organization’s Private Enterprise Board.

Americans for Tax Reform, the infamous anti-tax organization run by Grover Norquist, also says it is taking a more aggressive approach to opposing renewable energy targets. According to Bloomberg News, the group is urging its members to “speak out” against renewable energy promotion policies.

The organization has falsely claimed that such targets are costly to ratepayers.

In fact, no official analysis has found that state-level renewable energy targets specifically increase energy prices. While some states have seen increases in rates over the years, a recent analysis from the Center for American Progress found that clean energy targets had no statistically significant impact on those price changes.

Despite the real-world evidence that clean energy is increasingly cost-competitive andeconomically beneficial to states, the sector is under attack. The industry should be prepared for a more aggressive campaign from organizations like ALEC and Americans for Tax Reform on the state level.

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About the Author

is an editor at Greentech Media. Formerly, he was a reporter/blogger for Climate Progress, where he wrote about clean energy policy, technologies, and finance. Before joining CP, he was an editor/producer with He received his B.A. in journalism from Franklin Pierce University.

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  • Mcvaigh

    I made my own Magnet Powered Motor… I also made a 150 MPG 4 cycle gas powered Bike… It can be done but you really have to keep working on the designs, especially with magneticly powered motors… The trick is to use Magnetic Shielding so they won’t get stuck by back EMF, I also found that the Magnetic flux is increased when you shield half of the magnet which can save costs of construction…

  • dmtk

    Renewable energy corporations must take the glove off.

    • Say what?

      • Jim

        I’d go out on a limb and say they need to employ lobbyists themselves.

        • Aha. Well, thing is, the fossil fuel industry is much richer than renewables at the moment. and that is one of the problems with our political system today — we give more influence to the past than to the future by letting rich, established companies keep out the competition. it’s not good politically, not good for the public, and also a way of sort of making the already unbalanced ‘free market’ less free.

          That said, yes, without some big systemic political changes, renewable industries need all the help they can get to increase their lobbying power. 😀

          • dmtk

            Renewable industry can very cheaply go on black PR rampage run on the Fossil industry for very little money.

            Fossils – coal, oil, frackers and nuclear – have a lot of skeletons in their closets.

            Voters matter and they can be mobilized very easy for very little.

          • dmtk

            You just have to do what they are doing 🙂

          • Using a lot less money. 😀

            But yeah, agreed, much more could be done.

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