The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is an organization that writes voting-ready state legislation to hand to overextended politicians, giving them the chance to get bills passed quickly and efficiently. Sounds like a friendly group, right?
Unless the organization was funded almost entirely by corporate special interests pushing laws that benefit their bottom line at the expense of the public interest. ALEC’s legislation is corporate protectionism at its worst – downsizing government, knocking down health, safety, and environmental regulations on corporations, and making corporations nearly untouchable to the average consumer.
Notable legislation prepared by ALEC and introduced by ALEC’s politician members have included tax breaks that would allow tobacco companies to make fruit flavored tobacco cheaper and more attractive to younger consumers, restrictions on health insurance coverage, and restrictions on lawsuits to make it harder for Americans to sue when injured by dangerous products.
Now ALEC has decided to attack state Renewable Energy Standards (RES), which require utilities to provide a certain percentage of energy from renewables.
Tod Wynn, Director of ALEC’s energy, environment, and agriculture tax force told Bloomburg that ALEC may write model legislation for state lawmakers to repeal or weaken the standards over the coming year.
Bills to weaken or repeal RES have already been introduced in Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Colorado, Montana, and Washington State. None of them have passed.
With its history of heavy manufacturing, Michigan is particularly well suited to the clean job creation opportunities afforded by investing in renewable energy. Led by a diverse coalition of groups, including our state partner Michigan League of Conservation Voters (MLCV), concerned Michiganders are pushing a ballot measure that would require a minimum of 25 percent of Michigan’s energy to come from clean renewable sources, including wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower by 2025. If implemented, the RES would create thousands of Michigan jobs and bring $10 billion in new investments to the state. It is supported by both labor and environmental groups.