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Is there a Diary dedicated to the American Legislative Exchange Council on Daily Kos? Because if there isn't I think there really should be.

And that is because I have to admit two things about ALEC. One being that just seeing the initials ALEC is usually enough to start sending me into a panic attack and I instantly go there thinking; "well how bad is it"? And once I get to the story they never disappoint. Its always worse than I thought it would be.

Two of the most recent examples of that are ALEC's concerted efforts to kill green energy and also do away with Country Of Origin labeling on food products, especially meat.

I was watching the reports on ALEC's efforts to kill green energy from an article in the Guardian (because naturally the vast majority of US media hardly if ever reports on ALEC.) And its a pretty comprehensive effort. ALEC sponsored at least 77 energy bills in 34 states last year. The measures were aimed at opposing renewable energy standards, pushing through the Keystone XL pipeline project, and barring oversight on fracking, according to an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy, according to The Guardian.

But the real kicker is ALEC's model legislation to tax homeowners who install solar panels and provide power to the grid lowering their electrical bills. Here's an example of ALEC's thinking. John Eick, the legislative analyst for Alec's energy, environment and agriculture program said; "This is an issue we are going to be exploring," Eick said. Alec wanted to lower the rate electricity companies pay homeowners for direct power generation – and maybe even charge homeowners for feeding power into the grid. As it stands now, those direct generation customers are essentially freeriders on the system. They are not paying for the infrastructure they are using. In effect, all the other non direct generation customers are being penalized," The Guardian reported.

Get it people who install solar panels for the protection of the environment and to lower their electrical bills are freeloaders and must be taxed. How's that for an anti-tax organization.

And I if it wasn't enough to have to worry about ALEC killing green energy initiatives just another day or two ago right here on Daily Kos I read this diary post http://www.dailykos.com/... by VL Baker.

This diary not only highlights how ALEC is protecting factory farms but now want to eliminate Country Of Origin Labels.

And allow me to just quote VL Baker on what that really means.

[quote]One of its latest debacles is the introduction of legislation which would eliminate country of origin labels on our meat. There is a new law called COOL which mandates country of origin labeling and of course the meat industry is not happy and is using ALEC to try to eliminate COOL. Meat labeling is a public health issue as the danger is that if there should be a pathogen outbreak from meat ingestion its very difficult to trace the origin or even the country of the suppliers if it's not labeled.[/quote]

So as we can see its not enough for ALEC to be actively poisoning our environment now ALEC also wants to help actually poison us as well.

And this is just the tip of the underhanded iceberg ALEC is constantly up to. In fact it seems to me I constantly find ALEC's dirty greedy fingers everywhere I look and I can never seem to keep up with them. That scares me.

Which brings me to the second thing I have to admit about ALEC. I didn't even know ALEC existed until about three years ago, and then when I did find about ALEC and their "model legislation" I found out it was ALEC that had been writing most the new state laws in my state for more than 30 years. And when I say writing laws I mean some of ALEC's "model legislation" was adopted nearly verbatim. And like I said I've been trying to follow ALEC ever since but its very difficult.

However on the positive side ALEC's model legislation called "Stand Your Ground" recently exposed ALEC to daylight which turns out to be a deadly disinfectant for them. ALEC lost so many corporate sponsors over that and according to another Guardian story ALEC has actually launched the "Prodigal Son Project" to try and win them back.

http://www.theguardian.com/...

And that's something all of us should be watching and fighting to make sure those sponsors don't come back.

So I hope you will join me in trying to watch and keep up with ALEC and help keep shedding daylight on them because the single thing that makes ALEC so successful is being able to do their dirty work in the political dark.

Originally posted to Homers24 on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 11:48 AM PST.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    afisher, Azazello, VL Baker, paz3, lcrp, ladybug53

    Collect Different Days

    by Homers24 on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 11:48:33 AM PST

  •  Some countries in Europe are well ahead (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, valion, nextstep, lcrp, ladybug53

    of the Us in distributed power, including rooftop solar. Public utilities are guaranteed a return on investment on their infrastructure so everyone who is connected to the grid will at some point be paying a fee for the grid attachment. That is what has happened in Europe. Residents receive two bills, a flat fee for grid connection and a second bill for the amount of power used.

    The utility doesn't really want the power the roof top systems supply the grid. Managing it is more expensive than it is worth. Over time the utilities will continue to pressure the PUCs to release them from having to purchase rooftop power.

    There is also the issue of the demographics of rooftop solar which something that is installed by people who use lots of power and that tends to be upper middle and upper class homeowners. Those homeowners pay the highest electric rates and are the most profitable customers. As those customers lower their utility bills the other customers have to make up that revenue and rate of return or the roof top solar users have to pay some part of the freight.  

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 12:43:17 PM PST

    •  I Have No Sympathy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53

      for the power companies especially since in the last couple of decades they have in many cases actually been taken over by the oil and gas companies.

      And I fully support solar power to cut the amount of power we have to generate especially with coal and natural gas and think that can be a good thing.

      Finally from where I live the power companies are making a killing on their infrastructure and any improvements to it.

      Collect Different Days

      by Homers24 on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 01:51:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is that the PUCs have guaranteed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lcrp

        the utilities a return of capital on all their infrastructure projects and a return on capital on those investments. Until those laws are changed, which are likely to be forward looking, all the infrastructure that is in place must be paid for, by contract, by the utility customers. The utilities are not going to take the hit, it's the customers and specifically the low and middle class customers, who will pay. That's the problem.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 02:23:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tell Me About It (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lcrp, Calamity Jean

          Back in the 1980's as a customer in the Rocky Mountains our rates were increased for a Nuclear Generation Plant our provider at the time didn't build. They just broke ground on building it and all our rates were increased for the expenses they went through setting up the project and then cancelling it.

          But the answer to that isn't to follow ALEC's scheme. The answer to that is stop electing the conservative/Republican/Tea Party candidates that assist this kind of rip off.

          Collect Different Days

          by Homers24 on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 03:43:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's just how we have structured public utilities (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Homers24

            and it doesn't matter if it's municipally owned or investor owned the rate payers will be paying for all the existing infrastructure. That's not something politicians can change looking backward. Going forward, in an age of distributed power generation, the rules can and should change a lot. But as long as someone is connected to the grid, they are going to be paying for that safety net regardless of who we elect.  

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 09:24:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  While What You Are Saying Is True (0+ / 0-)

              when the conservative/Republican/Tea Party is in control rate increases for the utilities usually get rubber stamped instead of having people who actually advocate for the consumer and make the utilities actually justify their rate increases.

              Collect Different Days

              by Homers24 on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 11:44:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •   Nationalize the grid: Our eletrical freeway (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil, Homers24

      The utilities have to buy more peaking generators without solar.  It saves them money.  Not it has gone too far for their bottom line, so they attack it.  

      People all over the world are getting free solar, it's not a rich folks game anymore.  

      search free solar, you might be able to.  

      Every bodies electric bill goes down.  

      Solar is win win for everyone but the fossils and nuke companies.  

      •  I've Been Watching Africa (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Social Contract, lcrp, Calamity Jean

        and admittedly it could be bad for their culture. But tiny little solar panels are now transforming the lives of people in mud huts that for the first time in their lives have a light and a way to charge their cell phones.

        And let's not get too carried away here. The cell phones came to them first but they would have to travel as much as 10 miles and pay huge sums just to have them recharged.  But China (unfortunately for the US) has changed that with low cost solar panels.

        Also if you really want to see solar panels in action go into an oil or gas field sometime. You just might be amazed to see how many solar panels are in use out there and how it has revolutionized their well monitoring  and cut their costs. All the while they try to kill solar for the rest of us.

        Collect Different Days

        by Homers24 on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 03:52:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not only is there a diary on ALEC, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Homers24, VL Baker, shaggies2009, lcrp

    there is an entire group of diarists writing about them. Go here ☛ American Legislative Transparency Project to read dozens of their diaries.

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 12:48:23 PM PST

    •  Thank You So Much For This (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Azazello

      I did a search and didn't find anything at first but admit I found lots of stuff when I belatedly did a search by tags. But I've got this one bookmarked now and will visit it daily if I can.

      Collect Different Days

      by Homers24 on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 01:54:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Most here know, the question is: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Homers24, Calamity Jean

      How to spread the message beyond DKOS?

        I have decided to try and go to as many local GOP events as possible and ask the legislator if they are a dues paying member of ALEC - yes there is a current list.    Then correct them if they lie and ask why should anyone vote for an individual who puts ALEC and it's agenda ahead of the Constitution?    ( pg 20).  https://www.documentcloud.org/...

        Today I received a request from Hillsdale College, Larry P. Arnn, President.   It appears to be an ALEC follow-up as the website reads: www.hillsdaleforliberty.com/jefferson  to fund their newly formed 501c4

    •  WOW (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lcrp

      Now this is a treasure trove of information. I don't think I've ever seen ALEC's entire agenda before and like I said it proves they have their greedy dirty fingers in just about everything.

      And you make a great suggestion about actually asking if someone is a member of ALEC. I think I really need to be asking my state representatives, senators and especially our governor that question.

      Collect Different Days

      by Homers24 on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 02:06:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The utilties companies got huge subsidies from gov (0+ / 0-)

    to build that grid in the first place!

    It was the rural electrification act which forced people to use the grid, and they got massive amount of property for free!

    Solar is peaking energy and it cuts cost for the utilities and reduces grid load.

    That is, rooftop solar, protects the grid and extends it's life time.

    They utilities should have to pay more!

    Vote Green party and progressive caucus folks.

     

    •  Careful there (0+ / 0-)
      Vote Green party and progressive caucus folks.
      I'm guessing you meant progressive Democratic caucus. But Green Party advocacy (or any third party advocacy) will get you into a lot of trouble here.

      "In text, use only a single word space after all sentence punctuation." - Oxford Style Manual, Oxford University Press, 2003.

      by shaggies2009 on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 04:04:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Trouble is my middle name. ;) (0+ / 0-)

        My rule is Progressive Democrat Caucus or Green party first choice.  

        Only the Corporatism Reagan lite Obama/Clinton Third way folks to prevent  the GOPT from winning.  And of course, never the GOPT.  

        Obama has been just the lessee of evils

  •  Operation Cancel Alec, Now! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaggies2009, Calamity Jean
    But the real kicker is ALEC's model legislation to tax homeowners who install solar panels and provide power to the grid lowering their electrical bills. [snip] John Eick, the legislative analyst for Alec's energy, environment and agriculture program said; "This is an issue we are going to be exploring." [snip] "As it stands now, those direct generation customers are essentially freeriders on the system. They are not paying for the infrastructure they are using. In effect, all the other non direct generation customers are being penalized," The Guardian reported.
    Seems to me that if you are on grid as a customer of a utility, you are paying for that grid via your power bill. If you are providing power to that grid, the utility will have more energy to spread around to other customers. Not sure, but it may be more efficient for the utility as there may be less transmission loss then from those notoriously inefficient lines in our high voltage nationwide grid.

    This argument from ALEC seems insupportable by either logic or fairness, but then their intended audience (mostly Republican and some conservative Democratic state legislators) seem to see little value in either.

    You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

    by paz3 on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 03:56:20 PM PST

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