Koch Brothers Working on Killing US Regional Climate Initiatives

After stoking the fires that killed last year’s climate legislation, the Koch Brothers are working on dismantling the three US regional climate change initiatives.

32 states are members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in the Northeast, the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, or the Western Climate Initiative.

The Koch family foundations, ExxonMobil, and other oil companies and big corporations are funding the American Legislative Exchange Council, which provides legislative templates for state lawmakers so they don’t have to create their own bills. So far, they have produced 800-1,000 pieces of "model legislation." 

One of their templates is: "State Withdrawal from Regional Climate Initiatives," which is on the group’s environment webpage. And it looks like the template has been getting a lot of use lately. 

David Anderson’s blog on Grist points out the "Language  regurgitates all the Right’s favorite – and in many cases fallacious– anti-cap-and-trade talking points. It’s cropped up in nearly identical form in resolutions or bills in at least six states:

WHEREAS, there has been no credible economic analysis of the costs associated with carbon reduction mandates and the consequential effect of the increasing costs of doing business in the State of ______;

WHEREAS, forcing business, industry, and food producers to reduce carbon emissions through government mandates and cap-and-trade policies under consideration for the regional climate initiative will increase the cost of doing business, push companies to do business with other states or nations, and increase consumer costs for electricity, fuel, and food;

WHEREAS, the Congressional Budget Office warns that the cost of cap-and-trade policies will be borne by consumers and will place a disproportionately high burden on poorer families;

WHEREAS, simply reducing carbon emissions in the State of ______ will not have a significant impact on international carbon reduction, especially while countries like China, Russia, Mexico, and India emit an ever-increasing amount of carbon into the atmosphere;

WHEREAS, a tremendous amount of economic growth would be sacrificed for a reduction in carbon emissions that would have no appreciable impact on global concentrations of CO2;

WHEREAS, no state or nation has enhanced economic opportunities for its citizens or increased Gross Domestic Product through cap and trade or other carbon reduction policies; and

WHEREAS, Europe’s cap and trade system has been undermined by political favoritism, accounting tricks and has failed to achieve the carbon reduction targets,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the legislature of the State of ______ urges the Governor to withdraw [state] from the regional climate initiative.

Last year, the Michigan House of Representatives introduced a  resolution to remove the state from the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord. This year, there are resolutions in Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington calling for the states to quit the Western Climate Initiative.

A bill calling for New Hampshire to withdraw from the Northeast compact passed this year.

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Comments on “Koch Brothers Working on Killing US Regional Climate Initiatives”

  1. Marie C. Palmeri

    These Koch Brothers are more than dangerous to our society and our economy.

    In 2009 they single handedly created money pockets to destroy desegregation in Wade County Schools in North Carolina. They know how to HiDE money so it is not easily seen. There it was disquised under Americans for Freedom and Prosperity or AFP. This organization still exists pumping Koch money in to school board elections.

    And now this…Climate change is real as the money the Koch brothers are dumping into their cute named organizations to kill this initiative.

    Follow the MONEY Americans! Always know where the money is and WHO is supporting these initiatives with their large donations of MILLIONS.

    Wake up and follow the money.

    Marie C. Palmeri
    League of Women Voters


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