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02/20/2013 01:07 PM     print story email story  

ALEC Pushes Keystone Pipeline Approval Through 6 States News

ALEC is behind legislation moving through six states to approve TransCanada's tar sands pipeline.

The Resolution in Support of the Keystone XL Pipeline calls on the president and Congress to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

As usual, the legislation is identical in Missouri, Mississippi, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana and Washington, revealing ALEC's role as creator of "model legislation." And the bill includes entire paragraphs that are TransCanada's public relations talking points.

Missouri's resolution, for example, is nearly identical to a "model" resolution approved at the December 2011 ALEC meeting. At that time, TransCanada and oil companies like Exxon and BP served on ALEC's Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force. 


"For almost 40 years, major US corporations have used ALEC as a vehicle to promote their profit-driven model legislation, disguising the work of their own lobbyists and lawyers behind the scenes. From a Machiavellian perspective it makes sense: those who stand to directly profit from a particular bill are never really going to be viewed in the public eye as objective, so corporations use ALEC and state legislators as a surrogate, who they can then point to in support of their own efforts to make something happen. They can say: "Look how much support for this we have in the states", and it's difficult for people to argue with that because it looks like the grassroots talking, but it's often actually a corporate lobbyist pulling some strings," says a Common Cause blog.

Rep. Caleb Rowden (R-MO) has been in office less than two months and it's likely he was assigned to introduce the legislation by a more senior ALEC member legislator - an increasingly common way to hide ALEC's fingerprints, says Brendan Fischer of ALEC Exposed.

At the same time, ALEC is pressing forward to eliminate state Renewable Portfolio Standards.

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