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Climate-denying Indiana Regulator Helps ALEC Coal Companies Delay EPA Climate Rules

Leaked documents reveal that ALEC's anti-environmental jamboree was inundated with coal money and featured an Indiana regulator advising coal utilities on delaying EPA rules.

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Remember, this isn't the  Heartland Institute. It's the State of Indiana....working with the Heartland Institute, a member of ALEC's anti-environmental task force that has been central in coordinating campaigns to deny global warming. See Commissioner Easterly's full  presentation to ALEC on climate "science."

ALEC States & Nation Policy Summit 2012: brought to you by King Coal
 

ALEC's brochure for last week's meeting shows a disproportionately large presence of coal sponsors. The brochure lists 14 sponsors, five of which are coal interests:

  • American Electric Power (AEP): the second largest coal utility in the U.S. now that Duke Energy and Progress Energy have merged.
    • Political spending since 2007: AEP has spent over  $46.2 million on federal lobbying and  $3.9 million on federal politicians and political committees.
  • Peabody Energy: the world's largest private-sector coal mining company, known for its legacy of pollution and aggressive finance of climate change denial.
    • Political spending since 2007: Peabody has spent over  $37.9 millionon federal lobbying and  $690,769 on federal politicians and political committees.
  • American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE): a coal public relations front whose  members include AEP, Peabody and other  ALEC-member coal interests. ACCCE's new president is  Mike Duncan, former Republican National Committee chairman and founding chairman of Karl Rove's American Crossroads. ACCCE spent over  $12 million on advertising during the 2012 election to promote the fantasy of "clean coal." ACCCE reportedly spent  $40 million on TV and radio ads during the 2008 election and over  $16 million around the 2010 election. ACCCE was caught up in a scandal when a subcontractor forged letters on behalf of senior and civil rights groups urging members of Congress to oppose national climate legislation. For more, see  ACCCE on PolluterWatch.
  • Edison Electric Institute (EEI): the primary trade association for electric utility companies, whose  members include AEP, Duke Energy and numerous other members of  ALEC's energy/environment task force.
    • Political spending since 2007: EEI has spent over  $63.7 million on federal lobbying and over  $2.1 million on federal politicians and political committees.

$15.3 million: total federal politicians and committees spending from these groups since 2007

$194 million: total federal lobbying expenditures from these groups since 2007

The collective millions spent on federal lobbying and politicians went a long way for these five coal interest groups. Their lobbying goals included weakening 2009 climate legislation and working to interfere with US EPA rules to reduce coal pollution or greenhouse gases.

All five of these groups have recently lobbied to  prevent US EPA from controlling greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. These five interests only represent a slice of the coal interests spending money in politics, and just a few players among many in the  coal, oil, gas and chemical industries that dump millions of dollars into public relations campaigns telling us that climate change is not a problem.

 
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