Losing Corporate Supporters, ALEC Lawyers Up To Deny That It Is A Climate Denier
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is on a mission to change its image as a “climate denier,” and it has hired lawyers to help it do so. In recent weeks, attorneys for ALEC sent letters to Common Cause and the League of Conservation Voters asking them to stop making any comments suggesting that ALEC does not believe “human activity has and will continue to alter the atmosphere of the planet.” This legal action comes shortly after British Petroleum became the latest in a string of major corporations to cut ties with the Koch-backed lobbying group.
Many companies have left the council in recent months explicitly because of the group’s position on climate change—most notably Google, whose Chairman Eric Schmidt accused ALEC of “just literally lying” about the effects humans have on warming the planet. Given the growing list of corporate defectors, ALEC’s threat to sue progressive organizations seems to be more of an attempt to clean up its public image than to set the record straight on its anti-climate agenda. The targets of their threat, Common Cause and the League of Conservation Voters, have not issued corrections or retractions as requested by ALEC. That’s because the facts are indisputable.
We’ve written before about ALEC’s anti-climate and anti-clean energy agenda. The group has been behind efforts to undermine successful renewable energy policies in states, has condemned the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon reduction plan and has even produced legislation that says climate change could be beneficial to our planet.
ALEC’s attempt to change its image comes as climate change is becoming a more important issue among American voters. Today, researchers at Yale released an interactive map estimating public opinions on climate change and their map shows that a large majority of adults believe global warming is happening and an even higher percentage support funding research into renewable energy.
BOTTOM LINE: Climate deniers are in retreat. Now that major corporations—including oil companies like BP—are no longer willing to back extreme anti-climate agendas, ALEC is attempting to change its image. But as long as it remains closely tied to the billionaire Koch brothers with interests deeply rooted in dirty energy, it isn’t fooling anyone.
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