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Common Dreams

Exposed: The Rightwing's National Plan To Crush Green Energy

From supporting Keystone XL to opposing home solar panels, ALEC planning assault on the environment

by
Sarah Lazare, staff writer

The American Legislative Exchange Council's war on green protections is poised to expand over the next year, taking aim at the Environmental Protection Agency, state regulations, and even solar panels installed in individual homes.

This is according to internal documents revealed Wednesday by The Guardian and supplemented by interviews that expose this corporate lobbying powerhouse's vast anti-green agenda.

The revelations come in the midst of a three-day ALEC policy summit in Washington, DC bringing together 800 legislative and corporate leaders from around the country.

In 2014, ALEC will push a series of measures aimed at preventing the federal government from curbing greenhouse gas emissions and blocking state efforts to expand wind and solar power, according to The Guardian's summary of the documents.

John Eick, the legislative analyst for ALEC's energy, environment and agriculture program, told The Guardian that ALEC will also advocate for increasing financial penalties for individual homeowners who would otherwise benefit from feed-in solar energy programs. Many sustainable energy advocates see state-level feed-in schemes—like the one that recently came under attack in Arizona—as one of the keys to a national transition to clean, renewable energy.

ALEC also notes that its resolution in support of the Keystone XL pipeline has "been introduced in at least seven states this year which has helped highlight state support for this project."

In 2013 alone, ALEC introduced at least 77 anti-green bills in 34 states, according to The Center for Media and Democracy.

As Connor Gibson, a research associate at Greenpeace, explained to CMD: "ALEC's long time role in denying the science and policy solutions to climate change is shifting into an evolving roadblock on state and federal clean energy incentives, a necessary part of global warming mitigation."

"ALEC's guise of 'free market environmentalism,'" Gibson continued, "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."

An excerpt from the documents, boasting of past accomplishments, can be seen below.

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