ALEC’s aggressive new plan to take down the EPA, revealed

The Koch-backed conservative lobbying group is launching a "coordinated campaign" to block carbon regulations

Topics: ALEC, Koch Brothers, EPA, carbon dioxide emissions, Coal, coal industry, power plants, ,

ALEC's aggressive new plan to take down the EPA, revealedDavid Koch (Credit: Reuters/Brendan Mcdermid)

As the Environmental Protection Agency celebrates its recent Supreme Court victory, an important step forward in its so-called war on coal, the American Legislative Exchange Council is expanding into new efforts to take the agency down.

The Koch-backed, right-wing lobbying group is planning a coordinated attack on the EPA’s plan to limit carbon emissions from new coal-fired power plants, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal. While ALEC’s normal line of attack is to craft pro-industry legislation at the state level, the documents depict a new strategy in which the group will actively campaign to build opposition to the federal agency among both industry groups and state officials. Here’s more from the Guardian:



The documents showed Alec adopting a new tactic of encouraging state attorney generals [sic] to bring lawsuits against the new EPA regulations – and so sink the emissions controls before they come into effect. Alec also encouraged legislators to lobby attorney generals and governors in other states on the EPA rules, the documents showed.

“Alec has become quite well known and notorious for promoting model legislation. This is different,” said Nick Surgey, director of research for CMD [the Center for Media and Democracy] which investigates corporate influence on public policy. “Alec is engaging much more broadly in the campaign against the EPA regulations, and they are doing so by asking their members to advocate for the coal industry with attorney generals. That is very unusual for them.”

Surgey went on: “They are organising conference calls. They are asking their members to activate more attorney generals and other friendly attorney generals who will litigate this issue.”

The Guardian report lands as ALEC held a big meeting in Kansas city: On the agenda for the day was a field trip to a coal-fired power plant, presumably so they can breathe in those carbon emissions for themselves. Guessing it smells like freedom.

Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

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