Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Conservative group drafts resolutions for state lawmakers fighting EPA greenhouse-gas power

In November we reported the American Legislative Exchange Council was connecting private industry with state legislators to write legislation affecting immigration and the private-prison industry. Now ALEC has turned its attention to climate change by helping lawmakers craft legislation aimed at curbing the Environmental Protection Agency's power, Amanda Peterka of ClimateWire reports for The New York Times. "The Washington, D.C.-based group claims credit for advancing legislation that it says has undermined climate science and environmental regulation in several states since the late 1990s," Peterka writes.

ALEC has a private-enterprise board that includes representatives of Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil Corp., Peabody Energy Corp., the Salt River Project and Energy Future Holdings Corp. "At least eight state legislative bodies have adopted resolutions this year urging Congress to limit EPA's power to regulate greenhouse gases -- all of which came directly from ALEC model legislation," Peterka writes. "Legislators in more than 10 other states have introduced similar resolutions." Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Montana and Iowa have legislation on the table calling for their withdrawal from regional climate initiatives.

In February Virginia Republican Delegate Will Morefield "admitted that his resolution declaring U.S. EPA's effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions a 'regulatory train wreck' was written by the coal industry," Peterka writes. ALEC spokeswoman Raegan Weber told Peterka the corporate representatives and their companies are among a few of more than 300 private-sector members. "They are not running our organization," she said. The group was founded in 1973 by conservative activists and legislators who said they saw a liberal tilt in the National Conference of State Legislatures. (Read more)

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