The article below was written by Ted Nace, who founded CoalSwarm. Since 2008, the Center for Media and Democracy has been hosting the CoalSwarm wiki project on CMD's SourceWatch.org website. SourceWatch is a sister site of this site, PRWatch.org, and other sites of CMD, which include ALECexposed.org and the FoodRightsNetwork.org.
You helped make the world a better place this year. You helped expose corruption and thwart efforts to distort our democracy.
1. You helped force 42 major corporations and 70 legislators to do something they did not want to do, leave the American Legislative Exchange Council.
-- by Connor Gibson, Greenpeace
You're probably familiar with the old "fox in the hen house" story, but what about when a hen joins the fox den?
This is the case with the recent American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) meeting in Washington, DC. Leaked documents obtained by Greenpeace reveal that ALEC's anti-environmental jamboree was inundated with coal money and featured an Indiana regulator advising coal utilities on delaying US Environmental Protection Agency rules to control greenhouse gas emissions and hazardous air pollution.
A new report by the International Forum on Globalization details the role of David and Charles Koch in undermining international talks to address the rapidly escalating problem of climate change. As the United Nations meets in Doha, Qatar this week, the goal is to create a framework in which the governments of the world make internationally binding commitments to cut carbon emissions fast enough to keep climate change within the agreed threshold of 2C.
In an email to its supporters, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a national trade group for companies involved in solar energy projects, joined ALEC earlier this year to promote bipartisan energy policies, but has decided not to renew its membership. According to the email, ALEC "adopted a stance that intends to take us backwards. The fact is, Americans overwhelmingly support the growth of the solar energy industry and ALEC is clearly out of touch with the way Americans feel. We have not renewed our membership to ALEC and we will work with state legislators to push back on these efforts."
This morning, a group of students and alumni delivered over 1,000 signatures to University of Wisconsin Foundation President Mike Knetter demanding that the university divest its holdings from the fossil fuel industry.
An effort to stomp out state renewable energy mandates across the country has roots in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). As reported by The Washington Post, the Heartland Institute wrote the bill, had it passed through ALEC, and is now targeting the 29 states and the District of Columbia, which have passed renewable energy requirements in some form.
--Sara Jerving and Mary Bottari
The election is over, but the fight to save the planet from the rapacious fossil fuel industry is just gearing up. Hurricane Sandy reminded us that our slowly warming planet will continue to produce bigger and more dangerous monster storms, coupled with other types of severe weather, until we begin to address climate change with the urgency it deserves.
At the Mt. View gas station in Wausau, Wisconsin last week, some motorists were able to secure a gallon of gas for $1.84, thanks to a subsidy from David Koch's Americans for Prosperity. These astroturf publicity stunts have taken place at gas stations around the country in recent weeks as part of AFP's effort to mobilize votes for Mitt Romney by drawing attention to an alleged rise in gas prices since President Barack Obama took office. But since most experts attribute the rise in gas prices to long term trends and crude oil commodity speculation, AFP's hijinks only underscore the role of Wall Street speculators -- including the Kochs themselves -- in jacking up critical commodity prices on average Americans.