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Renewable energy is under attack in the Tar Heel State. That’s the word from Greenpeace USA‘s Connor Gibson today in a report that implicates King Coal powerhouse, Duke Energy and the fossil fuel industry at-large.

The vehicle Duke Energy is utilizing for this attack is one whose profile has grown in infamy in recent years: the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

ALEC is described as a “corporate bill mill” by its critics. It’s earned such a description because it passes “model bills” written by corporate lobbyists and to boot, the lobbyists typically do so behind closed doors at ALEC’s annual meetings.

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Renewable energy is under attack in the Tar Heel State. That’s the word from Greenpeace USA‘s Connor Gibson today in a report that implicates King Coal powerhouse, Duke Energy and the fossil fuel industry at-large.

The vehicle Duke Energy is utilizing for this attack is one whose profile has grown in infamy in recent years: the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

ALEC is described as a “corporate bill mill” by its critics. It’s earned such a description because it passes “model bills” written by corporate lobbyists and to boot, the lobbyists typically do so behind closed doors at ALEC’s annual meetings.

The ALEC-Duke Alernative Energy Attack

Gibson puts it bluntly in his exposé, explaning that North Carolina Republican Rep. Mike Hager “says he is confident that he has the votes needed to weaken or undo his state’s [renewable] energy requirements during his second term.”

Hager is a former Duke employee, where he worked as an engineer. Duke maintains its corporate headquarters in Charlotte, NC.

The model bill Hager appears likely to push is called the “Electricity Freedom Act,” a piece of legislation calling for the nullification of any given state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (REPS). Passed in October 2012 by ALEC, the bill was actually co-written with the fossil fuel-funded think tank, the Heartland Institute (of “Heartland Exposed” fame).

“We wrote the model legislation and I presented it. I didn’t have to give that much of a case for it,” James Taylor of Heartland told The Washington Post in a November 2012 investigative report.

Taylor’s claims are backed by economic analyses of a sort.

That is, the sort one would expect from a group heavily funded by the fossil fuel industry (Heartland) teaming up with a group receiving 98 percent of its funding from corporate interests (ALEC). As The Post explained back in November:

As part of its effort to roll back renewable standards, ALEC is citing economic analyses of state policies co-published by Suffolk University’s Beacon Hill Institute and the State Policy Network. Both groups have received donations from foundations funded by the Koch brothers.

Gabe Elsner of the Checks and Balances Project described ALEC’s game plan as a deceptive “one-two punch” against renewable energy to The Post.

“You push the legislation to state legislators and then you fund reports to support the argument and convince state lawmakers and all without any transparency or disclosure about the sources of this funding,” he said back in November.

North Carolina’s GOP (which according to the Center for Media and Democracy‘s (CMD)  SourceWatch has 45 ALEC members) appears set to go on the offensive against the state’s existing renewable energy standards.

More to Come?

There’s far more of this to come in the weeks and months ahead in statehouses nationwide.

As Gibson explains, “According to its own documents, ALEC spent the last couple years monitoring states attempting to introduce state-level renewable energy portfolio standards in West Virginia, Vermont and Virginia as well as legislative attacks on REPS laws in New Hampshire and in Ohio.”

Renewable energy is under attack. That is, of course, unless its advocates fight back.

Originally posted to Steve Horn on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:56 AM PST.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE and American Legislative Transparency Project.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Who are the bad guys? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DawnN

    Needed: Solid investigative reporting on the actual owners and majority shareholders of the world biggest banks and corporations who have funded and organized the mass misinformation campaigns that have undermined efforts to inform the public. Exactly who did this? And exactly how did they do it? We need to deconstruct and demystify this propaganda campaign and then broadcast that story, so people will be able to identify it when they see it, and have some immunity for this virulent social disease.

    Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge. -Carl Sagan

    by howardfromUSA on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 12:09:41 PM PST

  •  we are seriously fu*ked in NC with ALEC and Repugs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, DawnN, eeff

    Thanks for the diary

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 12:11:28 PM PST

  •  RW radio leads the way, while endorsed by UNC (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, DawnN

    tarheels on 8 limbaugh stations.

    the best weapon the fossil fuels/denial industry has is RW radio. they're coordinated and local blowhards can get very specific PR campaigns and guest shills from the think tanks to work at the local/state level.

    link in my sig shows 8 limbaugh stations depend on UNC sports broadcasting for community cred and local ad dollars. there are probably more. same with NCState.

    NC residents who want to fight back - get UNC out of RW radio and ALEC/GOP will lose their best weapon.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 12:15:37 PM PST

  •  Republished to American Legislative Transparency (0+ / 0-)

    Project.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 12:32:59 PM PST

  •  When the Atlantic Wind Connection starts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eeff, Calamity Jean

    producing electricity, 1700 turbines from NJ to Virginia....

    At like..... the lowest price in the market, 3.3 cents per KWH for new construction....

    They all..... wont buy it?

    Plus I just learned that Kochtopus is a tag.... how cool is that? TnR

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 02:50:50 PM PST

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