Top Companies Publicly Support Climate Action But Privately Support Climate-Denying ALEC


image: ALEC

Even most top tier oil companies pay acknowledge that humans are responsible for climate change and pay public lip service to doing something about that. But as a new piece from the Center for Media and Democracy shows, these same companies and other big name chemical and tech companies also support ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council)--one of the most vocal climate change denying, polluter-friendly, EPA hating groups out there. Some background on ALEC is probably in order first: ALEC proclaims itself to be for "limited government, free markets, federalism". According to Source Watch:

ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line. Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve "model" bills. They have their own corporate governing board which meets jointly with the legislative board. (ALEC says that corporations do not vote on the board.) They fund almost all of ALEC's operations. Participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations--without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills. ALEC boasts that it has over 1,000 of these bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law. ALEC describes itself as a "unique," "unparalleled" and "unmatched" organization. It might be right. It is as if a state legislature had been reconstituted, yet corporations had pushed the people out the door.

In the past ALEC has been a big ally of the tobacco industry; it opposed the Kyoto Protocol; proposed a model bill which eventually got introduced largely unchanged in the Washington State senate that would essentially criminalize writing about environmental issues. ALEC's model legislation has of late had a particular penchant for undermining environmental regulations and denying climate change. Among it's key funders is the Koch Family Foundations, the "financial kingpin" of organized climate change denial.

ALEC's official position on climate change and the United States: "Even substantial global warming is likely to be of benefit to the United States."

How can any company with scientifically-responsible climate and environment policy associate themselves with ALEC escapes me entirely. But nevertheless many companies who publicly try to green their image, privately support ALEC.

On that list (PR Watch has each company's official climate position):

Allergan (pharmaceuticals), Altria (tobacco), AT&T;, Bayer, Chesapeake Energy, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, CSX (transportation, logistics), Dow, Entergy, ExxonMobil, HP, Johnson & Johnson, Merck (pharmaceuticals), Pfizer, Sanofi (pharmaceuticals), Shell, Spectra Energy, Takeda (pharmceuticals), Union Pacific, UPS, Walmart

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Tags: Global Climate Change | United States