The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jackie Fielder,

Climate Groups Blast Alec for Legislation Against Fossil Fuel Divestment and Regulation


On December 3rd, the Center for Media and Democracy reported that the American Legislative Exchange Council voted to support two pieces of model legislation attacking fossil fuel divestment titled the "Energy Discrimination Elimination Act" and "Resolution Opposing Securities and Exchange Commission and White House Mandates on Climate-Related Financial Matters."

In response, 38 climate organizations sent a letter to the executive directors of the National Association of State Treasurers and the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers. The letter urges officials to heed the call of scientists, financial experts and the International Energy Agency (IEA) by moving state funds to a 1.5degC-aligned pathway and decreasing the exposure of those funds to the fossil fuel and other carbon-intensive industries.

International and national signatories released the following statements:

"It's so predictable that an organization like ALEC that's fueled crises in BIPOC communities with policies and platforms that sustain corporate power and white supremacy, is trying to thwart the people-centered movement for real action on climate change and financial regulation. The 2008 crash showed us that the financial sector will always put profit before people and we're seeing that again with Wall Street continuing to pump trillions into the fossil fuel industry. This is why we need policymakers and financial regulators to stand up to corrupt groups like ALEC and listen to scientists and frontline communities to shepherd a just transition off of extractive fossil fuels," said Erika Thi Patterson, Campaign Director of Climate and Environmental Justice for the Action Center on Race and the Economy.

"In an effort to protect the fossil fuel industry and its profits, ALEC is essentially pushing for economic and climate catastrophe. These catastrophes will be measured in lives and livelihoods, impacting BIPOC communities first and worst. ALEC says fossil fuel divestment is discriminatory. But it's the actions of the fossil fuel industry and ALEC that have been truly discriminatory towards BIPOC communities, workers, and our planet. Policymakers and regulators should heed the calls of scientists and civil society organisations to rapidly transition off fossil fuels in a just and equitable way," said Akiksha Chatterji of Positive Money US.

"It's ridiculous that supposedly pro-free market forces are trying to mandate how banks conduct their business. But this farce becomes tragedy when ALEC's work locks in stranded assets and ultimately locks in humanity to more warming, more chaos, and more disasters," said RL Miller of Climate Hawks Vote.

"ALEC has been widely discredited as a special-interests front group for some of the most corrupt, and dishonest corporate interests of the modern era. Policy-makers should listen to science, unbiased experts, and their community members - by crafting smart legislation that reflects the global commitment to address climate justice by developing a rapid, just transition off of fossil fuels," said Matt Leonard of Oil and Gas Action Network

"It was only a matter of time before ALEC and Big Oil would attempt to hold even Wall Street banks hostage to their climate, economy and community destroying agenda. They are willing to let the climate burn, leave the economy in ruins, and derail any just transition just to squeeze out a few a few more quarterly profits," said Doug Norlen, Economic Policy Program Director, Friends of the Earth US.

Signatories to the letter include:

International and National Organizations

  • Friends of the Earth U.S.
  • Rainforest Action Network
  • Action Center on Race and the Economy
  • Future Coalition
  • Earth Guardians
  • GreenLatinos
  • Bold Alliance
  • Positive Money US
  • 198 methods
  • Oil and Gas Action Network
  • Climate Hawks Vote
  • EcoEquity
  • Animals Are Sentient Beings, Inc.

State/Local Groups

  • 1000 Grandmothers for Future Generations
  • Athens County's Future Action Network
  • Baltimore, MD Phil Berrigan Memorial Chapter Veterans For Peace
  • Center for Sustainable Economy
  • Climate Action Rhode Island - 350
  • Connecticut Citizen Action Group (CCAG)
  • Divest Oregon
  • Extinction Rebellion San Francisco Bay Area
  • Extinction Rebellion Western Massachusetts
  • Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action
  • Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light
  • NJ State Industrial Union Council
  • Wisconsin Climate Safe Pensions Coalition
  • Terra Advocati
  • 350 Butte County
  • 350 Conejo / San Fernando Valley
  • 350 Eastside
  • 350 Eugene
  • 350 Hawaii
  • 350 Madison
  • 350NYC
  • 350PDX
  • 350 Seattle
  • 350 Silicon Valley
  • Sunrise Twin Cities

The Stop the Money Pipeline coalition is over 160 organizations strong holding the financial backers of climate chaos accountable.