Friday, December 30, 2011

An ALEC Expert?? – In this Case, Probably Not.

Some of you don’t realize that not only does the American Legislative Exchange Council have their members pushing through legislation – BUT whenever it looks like one of the members needs some backup they can call the ALEC office and ALEC will either send out a staffer to push whatever legislation that ALEC (and the ALEC corporate sector members) wants passed/or not passed and in court cases, ALEC will send a bevy of lawyers to file amicus briefs on the particular subject.

Evidently ALEC member Piscopo was having a problem getting his point across on the greenhouse gas initiative so he called ALEC and they sent “an expert” – their director of the natural resources taskforce. Expert may be too generous of a word.  Take a moment to read these excerpts from the proceedings.

DANIEL SIMMONS: Chairman and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today on House Bill 5623, AN ACT WITHDRAWING FROM THE REGIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS INITIATIVE.

My name is Daniel Simmons, and I am the Director of the Natural Resources Taskforce of the American Legislative Exchange Council. My message today is simple. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will produce no environmental benefits, but it will entail real costs.

Mr Simmons then takes his five minutes to quote a bunch of numbers and statistics why RGGI will produce no environmental benefits.  The first representative to question him does a really good job – enjoy the exchange,

REP. ROY: Thank you. Are there any questions for Dan? Representative O'Rourke.

REP. O'ROURKE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Simmons, good morning.

You offer a sort of a rare opinion on climate change and global warming. Virtually all of the independent scientific information, studies, and opinion that I have read, suggests that global warming is real and that its effects are pervasive, and will be profoundly negative on life on this planet, both human and otherwise, and that we need to take extreme measures to try to avert it and lessen that impact in the future.

And yet your group, the American Legislative Exchange Council comes before us and asks us not to take action.

Your testimony relies a lot on this Charles River Report, Charles River Associates. I want to ask you, you're the Director, are you not of the Director of Natural Resource Taskforce of ALEC?


REP. O'ROURKE: So you're the person in charge of making environmental policy and overseeing ALEC's position on these issues.

DANIEL SIMMONS: I am in charge of overseeing these issues, but it is really State Legislatures that develop the policy for the Committee.

REP. O'ROURKE: The State Legislators who are your members, but you do the research--

REP. O'ROURKE: --And provide them with the information so you're personally very knowledgeable about this Charles River Report that you rely on in this testimony.

DANIEL SIMMONS: I am not, I mean, granted I do not understand all of the assumptions that were made in the report. I just know what those numbers are. I know that those numbers, they rely on different assumptions then for example, the RGGI Staff has used.

What those are, I do not know. I would be very happy to find out what they are and provide that information to you.

REP. O'ROURKE: Do you think the Charles River Report relies on numbers that our Regional Greenhouse Gas Imitative staff relied on? Is that what you just said?

DANIEL SIMMONS: That is my assumption, but I don't know that for sure. If I could take--

REP. O'ROURKE: It might not be a good assumption. Do you know when the Charles River study was completed?

DANIEL SIMMONS: This most recent study came out, I mean, the most recent numbers that I provided, that $180 a year in 2010 and $270 a year in 2020, those are numbers, they haven't been published yet.

I mean, that they are just within a couple of months old, so that is new data.

I'm guessing since Representative Roy - addressed Mr.Simmons as "Dan"  - that there might be an assocation there that someone from CT might want to research - cause later in the transcsript, ALEC member Piscopo calls Simmons, "Dan".

ALEC Expert – probably not. 
Just a guy in a job working for an organization that is trying to destroy our democracy.
Wonder if he gets paid more than minimum wage – if yes, probably shouldn’t.

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