ALEC Gears Up For 2014

ALEC’s "States and Nation Policy Summit" takes place this week, where the organization will craft its anti-everything agenda for next year.

Appropriately, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) – who led the push for the US government shutdown over the health care law – is giving the keynote, and Republican budget leaders Reps. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) will also give speeches.

But this year, ALEC acknowledges that it’s at a disadvantage – having lost some 60 corporate members and 400 legislator members when its connection to the Trayvon Martin Stand Your Ground Gun Laws was revealed – it faces a budget crisis. One of its main goals is to convince Walmart, General Electric, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Kraft, McDonald’s and other big corporations to return.

On a side note, given Google’s commitment to corporate responsibility and renewable energy, it’s amazing that it sticks with ALEC. Email Google if you too oppose their membership in ALEC:

As part of the ALEC’s new defensive posture, it has formed a new organization – The Jeffersonian Project – nervous that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) might revoke its non-profit status (as it should, since it’s obviously a lobbying organization), reports The Guardian.

It is also asking legislative members to prioritze ALEC’s agenda over that of their constituents, says The Guardian.

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On Tap for 2014

ALEC’s Energy, Environment and Agriculture task force will be hard at work preventing state and federal fracking regulations, while pushing natural gas as a motor fuel.

Its footprint can already be found in weak natural gas fracking regulations proposed by the Department of Interior, based on   ALEC‘s model bill, which was written by ExxonMobil! Other legislation pushes states to approve the Keystone tar sands pipeline (introduced in 7 states so far). 

Also high on the list is making sure the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can’t regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants – whether new or existing.

In October, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that questions EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases from stationary sources like power plants under the Clean Air Act.

Who’s on the taskforce? American Electric Power, Duke Energy, Energy Future Holdings, Koch Industries, Peabody Coal, BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell Oil.

Meanwhile, their attack on the renewable energy industry continues, with the goal of weakening or (hopefully) eliminating pesky state laws like Renewable Porfolio Standards – which mostly failed this year (currently focused in Ohio) – and their new target,  net-metering laws, calling solar owners "free riders." ALEC’s "Updating Net Metering Policies Resolution" was used in the recent Arizona case.

At least 77 anti-environmental bills were introduced in states this year, according to the Center for Media and Democracy.

"ALEC’s guise of ‘free market environmentalism" is just a code word for its real mission in our states’ legislatures: to allow dirty energy companies to pollute as much as they want, to attack incentives for clean energy competitors and to secure government handouts to oil, gas and coal interests. That’s not a free market." Connor Gibson of Greenpeace told the Center for Media and Democracy.

ALEC’s Other Main Focus Areas

No "Country of Origin" Food Labels: ALEC’s "Resolution on Country of Origin Labeling" would prevent labels on food that show which country it originates from, which over 90% of Americans favor.

Undermining Unions: ALEC’s "Public Employee Choice Act", which mascadares as "employee choice," would encourage public employees not to pay union dues.

Eliminate Professional Licenses: ALEC’s "Private Certification Act" would allow anyone to say they are a doctor, accountant, electrician or another other profession that currently requires a license, removing the need for people to meet basic standards of expertise that guarantee consumer safety.

Eliminate Corporate Accountability: ALEC’s "Punitive Damages Standards Act" and "Noneconomic Damage Awards Act" would make it harder for people that are injured or killed by corporate practices or products to hold them responsible.

Other bills would undermine public education – while lining the pockets of for-profit school corporations – and limit patient rights.

You can also take action to ask Google to stop funding ALEC by clicking here.

Read the full story and keep up with ALEC Exposed:  

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