Is the Future of the Planet in ALEC's Secret Hands?

Let’s talk about the real obstacle to fighting climate change in America: ALEC. Tomorrow, ALEC – the American Legislative Exchange Council – kicks off its annual meeting in Dallas, Texas. The group, which has already brought America such favorites as stand-your-ground-shoot-first laws and voter suppression ID laws, now has its sights set on preventing clean energy policies from spreading across the U.S.

ALEC gets a lot of its funding from Big Oil and utility corporations, so it’s only natural that it would be working feverishly to craft "model legislation" that continues America’s toxic – and deadly - addiction to fossil fuels. Over the past decade alone, ALEC has received over $500,000 from Big Oil-friendly Koch Brothers-backed foundations, and millions more from Big Oil giants like ExxonMobil.

Chris Taylor, a Democratic lawmaker from Wisconsin who snuck into ALEC’s annual meeting in Chicago last year, said, “A part of ALEC’s battle is to preserve an old economy, where coal, oil and gas remain supreme. Their defense of these industries represents the will of corporate members.”

And Nick Surgey, research director for the Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch, told Think Progress that, “According to the meeting agenda, legislators will be schooled on how industry wants them to talk about climate change,” He went on to say that there will be a heavy focus on the EPA’s new regulations, and that corporate lobbyists from ExxonMobil, BP, and Koch Industries will be crafting model legislation that opposes limiting carbon emissions from coal plants.

Conference goers will hear from climate-change-denying all-stars like Texas Governor Rick Perry, Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, and former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain. They’ll also be getting a copy of the most recent “report” from the NIPCC – the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change. The NIPCC is funded by the Heartland Institute, one of the major players in climate change denial, and a group which has compared people who believe in climate change to the Unabomber.

ALEC’s push to protect Big Oil interests and to sabotage clean energy policies isn’t something new. It’s been a major goal of the secretive organization for a while now. According to documents obtained by The Guardian, last year alone, ALEC pushed 70 bills in 37 states that would have hurt clean energy growth and development.

ALEC-crafted legislation has also played a major role in the battles between solar power customers and utility companies in Arizona over the past year, and also led to a Republican state lawmaker in Kansas being kicked out of that state’s Chamber of Commerce because he opposed ALEC-backed legislation that was intended to weaken Kansas’ renewable energy standards.

ALEC is also behind bills in several states that would require schools to teach climate change denial as part of their curriculum. In January of last year alone, ALEC successfully got its “Environmental Literacy Improvement Act” into the Colorado, Arizona, and Oklahoma state legislatures. And some states, like Louisiana, have already adopted similar versions of that legislation.

While ALEC has been around for nearly 40 years, recent Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United have put the group's ability to influence or essentially own Republican lawmakers on steroids. Thanks to the Supreme Court-created ideas that "money is speech" and "corporations are people," ALEC has gained tremendous power, and it’s using that power to sabotage us and the only planet we can call home.

The conservative lawmakers and corporate shills who make up ALEC are the very people keeping us from developing the clean and green energy policies that are essential for the survival of our planet and the human race. As Dale Eisman, director of communications for Common Cause, put it, “Whatever the issue — labor, schools, climate, or energy — they [ALEC] are drafting bills to advance corporate interests that don’t necessarily coincide with the public interest.”

If want to have any chance of saving the human race from the greatest threat it has ever faced, then we need to start putting public interests ahead of corporate interests, and the only way we can do that is by getting money out of politics. We need to amend the Constitution, to say that money is not speech, and that corporations are not people. The future of our planet depends on it. Go to to learn all about it.


stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 8 years 44 weeks ago

Tomorrow, during Alec's meeting, Nuke Dallas, Texas.

Problem solved.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 8 years 44 weeks ago

"Climate Change" is not a hoax. It's the Republican Party that is a hoax , masquerading as "American Values." A coalition of ignorant bigots, ideological extremists and corporate fascists whose disguise becomes more transparent everyday revealing a soul uglier than anything our forefathers could have ever imagined.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 8 years 44 weeks ago

Where are they having the meeting, 411 Elm Street ?

leighmf's picture
leighmf 8 years 44 weeks ago

They also parade around with a lot of cheap Christian props, mocking the Communion of Saints and The Company of Heaven.

Johnnie Dorman's picture
Johnnie Dorman 8 years 44 weeks ago

And all these liars will be going to the same place as the oil pigs when they die.

Willie W's picture
Willie W 8 years 44 weeks ago

Money talks, science walks.

johnbest's picture
johnbest 8 years 44 weeks ago

I heard today that the walmart brothers were active in alec. The brothers pulled out after being exposed but still have a mole in alec.

I say that we declare ALEC an enemy subversive organization and severely limit their activities in the US if we don't ban them all together. Send them packing without a dime in their pockets. They are your typical Southern Redneck Pricks like the Cock Brothers.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 44 weeks ago

Personally, I think Thom is spot on about this problem The way the problem is set up there is no other way to defeat it directly. Only an end run around it--cutting off the source of it's strength--will succeed. Only by passing Move To Amend, and Campaign Finance Reform will the strings for ALEC's puppets be cut. Then and only then can we also enact legislation that forever bans any kind of subversive bribery in politics and political institutions. Their attempts to influence curriculum in schools is most disturbing. Make no mistake about it, the Koch brothers and members of institutions such as ALEC are criminals who are guilty of crimes that haven't been written yet. The failure not to have such laws is the real crime.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 44 weeks ago

I am going to re-post my note to Sven Mills the corporate shill, who Chuck ("chuckle8") and I were arguing with for awhile on this blog:

Yep! The facts are the facts, Mr. Mills. And just today I learned from Thom Hartmann that the NIPCC, or “Nongovernmental International Panel On Climate Change”, is funded by the Heartland Institute! And according to Thom, the Heartland Institute is all about climate change denial. They are even looney enough to compare people like us (those who believe the scientific consensus among real climate experts) to the Unabomber.

I just knew something smelled fishy about your argument and repeated references to the NIPCC! So much for all that sanctimonious drivel about how “intellectually lazy” you think we are, and how people are “entitled to their own opinions, not their own facts” ad nauseam.

Mr. Mills, you can just kiss my royal ass. - Aliceindunderland

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 44 weeks ago

Concerning climate change it should be noted that there is a big difference between the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and the NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change). The first is an official government sponsored panel of real scientists doing a serious and objective job. The second is a pure scam of the oil industry sponsored by the Heritage Foundation and apparently using a very confusing pseudonym for the obvious purpose of trying to confuse people. A very desperate attempt at subterfuge if I ever saw one. The conclusion of the IPCC was that climate change was indeed man made and offered political leaders various solutions to deal with the problem. The conclusion of the NIPCC is to defend climate change denial and protect the fossil fuel industry.

One can check out the two websites here,

It is quite obvious after seeing the first page of the NIPCC website that the emphasis is commercial protection of the fossil fuel industry. The overt effort at pandering is quite blatant. If further reading about this nasty attempt to fuel the fury of climate change deniers is desired, a good article can be found here. Happy reading!

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 44 weeks ago

Humanity is too stupid to save itself, evolutionary experiment failed.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 44 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland ~ Actually, Mr. Mills mentioned the IPCC in that blog? I suspect that he may have fell victim to the subterfuge I mentioned in my last post--either intentionally or by accident. It is quite easy to confuse IPCC with NIPCC. If you remember I told you I didn't think he even read the report. He may have read the wrong report and not known the difference. Of course, I might be wrong. Anyway, he was refering to the IPCC in that blog as the quote below clearly demonstrates. Maybe he'll show up tonight and straighten that all out.

From Post #66, "Hate Summer? Just Wait Until Global Warming Really Kicks In." June 25, 2014

Quote Sven Mills:If you think saying extreme weather is not caused by global warming makes you a denier, then you would admit that the IPCC are deniers? The consensus of opinion as stated by the latest IPCC report states a low confidence in man made global warming causing extreme weather events. Again, easily demonstrable.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 44 weeks ago

Excerpts from the 2014 IPCC Report: Summary For Policymakers

2014 IPCC Report Summary

Quote PG 9: A3: The DeAdaptation and mitigation choices in the near term will affect the risks of climate change throughout the 21st century (high confidence)
Quote PG 12 Assessment Box SPM.1: Human influence on the climate system is clear. 33 Yet determining whether such influence constitutes “dangerous anthropogenic interference” in the words of Article 2 of the UNFCCC involves both risk assessment and value judgments. This report assesses risks across contexts and through time, providing a basis for judgments about the level of climate change at which risks become dangerous.

Five integrative reasons for concern (RFCs) provide a framework for summarizing key risks across sectors and regions. First identified in the IPCC Third Assessment Report, the RFCs illustrate the implications of warming and of adaptation limits for people, economies, and ecosystems. They provide one starting point for evaluating dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Risks for each RFC, updated based on assessment of the literature and expert judgments, are presented below and in Assessment Box SPM.1 Figure 1.All temperatures below are given as global average temperature change relative to 1986–2005 (“recent”).34

1) Unique and threatened systems: Some unique and threatened systems, including ecosystems and cultures, are already at risk from climate change (high confidence). The number of such systems at risk of severe consequences is higher with additional warming of around 1°C. Many species and systems with limited adaptive capacity are subject to very high risks with additional warming of 2°C, particularly Arctic-sea-ice and coral-reef systems.

2) Extreme weather events: Climate-change-related risks from extreme events, such as heat waves, extreme precipitation, and coastal flooding, are already moderate (high confidence) and high with 1°C additional warming (medium confidence). Risks associated with some types of extreme events (e.g., extreme heat) increase further at higher temperatures (high confidence).

3) Distribution of impacts: Risks are unevenly distributed and are generally greater for disadvantaged people and communities in countries at all levels of development. Risks are already moderate because of regionally differentiated climate-change impacts on crop production in particular (medium to high confidence). Based on projected decreases in regional crop yields and water availability, risks of unevenly distributed impacts are high for additional warming above 2°C (medium confidence).

4) Global aggregate impacts: Risks of global aggregate impacts are moderate for additional warming between 1–2°C, reflecting impacts to both Earth’s biodiversity and the overall global economy (medium confidence). Extensive biodiversity loss with associated loss of ecosystem goods and services results in high risks around 3°C additional warming (high confidence).Aggregate economic damages accelerate with increasing temperature (limited evidence, high agreement), but few quantitative estimates have been completed for additional warming around 3°C or above.

5) Large-scale singular events: With increasing warming, some physical systems or ecosystems may be at risk of abrupt and irreversible changes. Risks associated with such tipping points become moderate between 0–1°C additional warming, due to early warning signs that both warm-water coral reef and Arctic ecosystems are already experiencing irreversible regime shifts (medium confidence). Risks increase disproportionately as temperature increases between 1–2°C additional warming and become high above 3°C, due to the potential for a large and irreversible sea level rise from ice sheet loss. For sustained warming greater than some threshold, 35 near-complete loss of the Greenland ice sheet would occur over a millennium or more,contributing up to 7 m of global mean sea level rise.

Quote PG 28 Conclusion:Climate-resilient pathways are sustainable-development trajectories that combine adaptation and mitigation to reduce climate change and its impacts. They include iterative processes to ensure that effective risk management can be implemented and sustained. See Figure SPM.9.77

Prospects for climate-resilient pathways for sustainable development are related fundamentally to what the world accomplishes with climate-change mitigation (high confidence). Since mitigation reduces the rate as well as the magnitude of warming, it also increases the time available for adaptation to a particular level of climate change, potentially by several decades. Delaying mitigation actions may reduce options for climate-resilient pathways in the future.78

Greater rates and magnitude of climate change increase the likelihood of exceeding adaptation limits (high confidence). Limits to adaptation occur when adaptive actions to avoid intolerable risks for an actor’s objectives or for the needs of a system are not possible or are not currently available. Value-based judgments of what constitutes an intolerable risk may differ. Limits to adaptation emerge from the interaction among climate change and biophysical and/or socioeconomic constraints. Opportunities to take advantage of positive synergies between adaptation and mitigation may decrease with time, particularly if limits to adaptation are exceeded. In some parts of the world, insufficient responses to emerging impacts are already eroding the basis for sustainable development.

2014 IPCC Report: Summary For Policymakers

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 44 weeks ago

Science warns us that the Carbon Barons are without exaggeration destroying our planet. The only difference I see between unchecked climate change, and thermal nuclear warfare, is the time frame involved in the mutual assured destruction of mankind. We fear the prospect of one and dangerously procrastinate on the other.

We'd stop a nut from pushing the button, so what's the problem with stopping the Carbon Barons?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 44 weeks ago

Thanks for clarifying that, Marc! I'd assumed they were one and the same. But either way, Sven's strident assertions are debunked. Thom just blew the cover off the NIPCC; meanwhile in those IPCC quotes you've just shared, I could not find one single statement in support of Sven's claims.

Isn't it amazing, the lengths these corporate hacks will go to confuse people and manipulate public opinion! It would not surprise me a bit if Sven Mills was a paid shill for the fossil fuel industry. - AIW

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 44 weeks ago

AIW ~ :-)

richinfolsom 8 years 44 weeks ago

In these recent months of perpetual senseless death in the Ukraine bolstered by the Russian billionaires - not much unlike the political forces of ALEC descending into the depths of the mystical state of Texas like a holy convention, seeking a revival of catching prominently crafted legislators with green backs. The ALEC army is growing with the widespread sale of guns and legislation to defend the perceived aggressor. The Bundy Ranch square off is but an example of highly funded, legalized organized billionaire war lords vying to institute Facism in each state. The state support of big business in return of business support of the state.

Is it any different in Russia? The country behind the shooting down a commercial plane with 298 souls?

through the 60's, there were voices of hope. JFK, Robert, Martin....

Were are our voices of hope?

thumper's picture
thumper 8 years 44 weeks ago

What we need to do is create an ALEC group that does for us what the ALEC is doing for the corporations since the governement doesn't like to actually do any work but loves to have everything spoon fed to them by ALEC we can have our group that serves our interest spoon feed the goverenment.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 44 weeks ago

Richinfolsom asks "Where are our voices of hope?" Like Thom says, we're it.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 44 weeks ago

2950 - 10K -- You need to watch "Last Week with John Oliver" on HBO. We dangerously procrastinate on both.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 44 weeks ago

thumper -- That is not a spoon they are feeding them with. It is a bag of cash.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 44 weeks ago

This is my reply about Sven to you a couple of days ago. Sven seems to have disappeared.

AIW -- Sven was referring to the IPCC not the NIPCC. The IPCC is the report put out by the UN. The IPCC warns us how bad climate change is. Sven is referring to 5 or 6 pages in the 1400+ pages of the IPCC. Those 5 or 6 pages are why your course of action (97% of scientists agree) is appropriate. I am still anlayzing those 5 or 6 pages. It seems the contributors to that section do not understand detecting a signal in a very noisy sample. - See more at:

DAnneMarc's blog was so good I hate to repeat mine.

Sven was referring to pages 214 to 220 in the IPCC.. These pages seem to say not to worry because somewhere in the world things are getting better. Using their line of thought applied to one of the last ice ages, it would say Europe do not worry that a glacier is going to destroy your continent because the Sahara will become a wonderful place for agriculture.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 44 weeks ago

Chuck, did you read my post #16? Thanks to Marc, I finally got it about those two distinctly different organizations. Sven is a cherry pickin' shill; good riddance to that rubbish! - AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 44 weeks ago

Geez Palin... how did you manage to track down where that toadie lives? While we were busy duking it out with Mister Toadie, you posted "Kermit" or "Kermit?" and I was wondering what the heck that was about. - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 44 weeks ago

sven was svell wasn't he/she/it? If that was his/her/its real name. If it was, then there wasn't too many of that name.There was one in Kermit, Texas. And one with a Kazakhstan phone number. He drove a delivery truck and owned a 2006 Suzuki XL7. I won't give out his phone number though. So, the svell sven we all know and love may not have been the one in Texas. But I suspect that he lives in Kermit..something..maybe a small local community that Google Earth doesn't have in it's data base..and there aren't too many places in the world with a town or city named Kermit. I think there was one possibly in England as well but the phone number didn't match phone numbers in England.
Oh, well! That's svell! That's sven...or maybe not!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 44 weeks ago

Sorry, AIW, once again I got caught editing while you posted and I once again messed up the order of things. Anyway, yes, I had referred to "Kermit" before because that's what I had found back then. People leave traces of their personal lives all over the internet. There is no certainty that this is "the" sven but the reference I got had the name that then said "lives in Kermit" and the country code was 7 followed by 041 followed by 6 more digits. So, this didn't make any sense since 7 country code is in Kazakhstan. Could be sven lives in Kazakhstan...or lived there at the time that the record was created.

But, then again, now that I think of it...the spacing of that number may have been off. It could be that instead of 7 being the country was actually supposed to be 704 area code then 7 digits after that ...which would put it in Charlotte, NC. But then again, I don't think 183 is a valid prefix in area code 704.

I suppose one could always check to see if sven is listed on facebook. ;-} But then, there is no guarantee that this would be the same person.

If you really miss him/her/it you can probably find his comments on where he left a comment on the subject of Greenpeace 9 days ago.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 44 weeks ago

I just checked it out, Palin. I'd bet $$ it's the same guy. What an asshole! Enough already.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 44 weeks ago

There's one that lives in Upper Mount Gravat a suburb of Brisbane

There's one that lives in Brookfield, FL who was selling/buying real estate (his own property)

There's a lot of references to someone of that name that has made a number of comments that are associated with Britain.
For example:
but this one doesn't sound like the one we know...he sounds more liberal.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 44 weeks ago

Yes, the one on the Disqus site does sound like him.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 44 weeks ago

Yeah that's him; all bluster, no substance. That's the tactic these hacks & quacks will use when they're short on facts to substantiate their ridiculous assertions! They resort to insults and mud-slinging, all the while claiming some vaguely-worded, special grasp of the "facts" that amounts to nothing but hot air. So sophomoric it's pathetic. - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 44 weeks ago

Yup, Yup, that's it! "Which way did he go, George? Which way did he go?" For a while there, I was wondering if he was our Mr. Valentine. Remember him?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 44 weeks ago

Yep. Talk about ugly twins! (tsk)

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 44 weeks ago

Palindromedary ~ Wow! I sure am glad you're on our side!! Great work! Is there anything you can't find on the internet? Hey, how many fingers am I holding up?

Aliceinwonderland ~ I know what you're thinking. You're probably right about that Disqus site. It sure does sound like his particular arrogant aire. If I were you, I'd let it go. He'll just go somewhere else like a whack-a-mole. The internet is full of people who are receptive to his type of unsupported rhetoric. The important thing is, it won't fly here.

Although, I'll leave that call up to you. As you wish. In my opinion, he's only going to be receptive to audiences who have already made up their minds. To everyone else he comes across as an well spoken idiot.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 44 weeks ago

DAnneMarc: One! The middle one. heh! heh! Am I right? ;-}

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 44 weeks ago

Palindromedary ~ No, you're not. I was holding up four fingers over my cat's head. Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster you got that one wrong. There is a limit to your power. Good to know! Now I can sleep at night.I knew your first guess would be the middle finger. Heh! Heh! Heh!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 44 weeks ago

In order to make everyone more comfortable that the all-seeing-eye, that knows all...sees all, is just a regular guy with no special talents, I have to throw in, from time to time, a blooper. I knew that you would say "four fingers over your cat's head" but I wanted you to get some sleep tonight so I said one finger. heh! heh! ;-}

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 44 weeks ago

Now I'm holding up one finger. ;-)>

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 44 weeks ago

I knew that! :) Look'll see my drone looking in at you!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 44 weeks ago

Well, it's 10:30 a.m. so I guess, since I've been up all night, I had better get some sleep.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 44 weeks ago

Sweet Dreams, Obi Wan!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 44 weeks ago

Marc, you might be misinterpreting something from me. I never intended to pursue that guy any further or make contact with him. Hell no. That discussion was going nowhere, and I was done with it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned by now, it’s when to quit. - Aliceinwonderland

thumper's picture
thumper 8 years 43 weeks ago

@chuckle8 Sorry I took so long to reply I had a hard time tracking down my comment. What I meant by spoon feeding is ALEC writes all the legislation then hands it to congress members who don't change a thing alas spoonfeeding and I was thinking we the common man could draw up legislation that is in the common mans best intrest and spoonfeed it to congress members.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 43 weeks ago

Hey Thumper, good luck with that.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 43 weeks ago

Thumper, AIW -- Not only does it need spoonfeeding, it also requires that extra condiment, money.

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